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We’ve all been reacting differently

Those who have seen me recently probably feel I’m looking a little shaggy, to say the least.

I typically get my hair cut every two months. My plans had been to go in mid- or late-March. Then, the virus began to spread and West Virginia ordered the closure of “non-essential” businesses. Although businesses have been back in operation for a while, I have yet to pay a visit to my local hair establishment of choice.

That means it’s been approximately six months since any professional has touched my hair with a pair of scissors. I’ve been receiving offers of assistance, pleas and even threats from family members about it.

We do get take-out when possible, but I haven’t stepped foot inside a restaurant for a while. Please don’t follow my example there. It’s still important to support our local businesses.

The fact is, outside of work activities (primarily City of Weirton meetings and a couple business grand openings) and two family events, I haven’t been doing much outside of the house and the office. I’ve thought about going for a walk or a drive on a couple of occasions, but the days I’ve planned have had bad weather. There’s still time.

Ultimately, though, those are all minor issues.

We’ve all reacted differently to the situation of the last few months. The majority of us are in relatively uncharted territory. Those who were alive in 1918 were young and probably don’t remember much about how things were handled in those days, and there aren’t many historical accounts.

A few of the photos I have seen from that time, whether showing family gatherings or people attending sporting events, all feature one thing…people wearing masks. Interesting.

I’m not an expert in this area. I’ve never claimed to be one. I also know I’ve been fortunate to be able to hold off on doing certain things. Many of the events we typically cover this time of year have been postponed or canceled. Several of the meetings are conducted either by telephone or internet, and those that do meet in person are taking precautions. Some may be taking things a little too far, but that’s the way it is.

We need to be able and willing to make some short-term adjustments. It’s not about us as individuals. It’s about the entire country, and the world. At the same time, I understand this is affecting us in a variety of ways. We get used to routines and having things a certain way. We don’t like disruptions, and being told we can’t leave our homes or workplaces, with certain exceptions, or being required to wear a mask or limit time with others, are all major disruptions.

We probably never imagined a time when we would have to get our temperatures checked before entering a building. I doubt we ever thought of a time when we would have to sit in the parking lot of our favorite business and wait for our turn just to walk inside.

It can be maddening, especially when those who are supposed to be leading us in these efforts keep changing direction. It’s almost as if the politicians don’t have all the answers. That’s food for thought.

None of us know what the next several months, or longer, have in store for us. We don’t know the path this virus will take. Until then, trying to remain flexible and supporting one another in whatever way we can, will probably be the best thing any of us can do.

(Howell, a resident of Colliers, is managing editor of The Weirton Daily Times, and can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com or followed on Twitter @CHowellWDT)

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