It seems that the historical moment of COVID-19 deserves documentation on our little local news site. If for nothing else, maybe future residents will uncover this article as a resource for their hologram history project.
This year began with many catchy 20/20 vision plans. As it progressed, however, we discovered that it was going to be a bit more unpredictable. News began to frequently fill our screens with reports of a sprawling new virus. On March 11, the World Health Organization officially classified the novel coronavirus as a pandemic. While Henderson Health Care had already made a few adjustments, the effects really hit home on March 17—the final day Heartland had students in the building for the school year. St. Patrick’s Day fun was overshadowed by looming unknowns.
March and April were marked by significant alterations in our area. We even created a resource page on our site to keep up with the plethora of information. Henderson Health Care was bombarded with ever-changing regulations, many businesses revised interactions with customers, local restaurants had to rethink their operations, and the grocery store had a steady stream of customers from near and far hoping to obtain certain products.
At this time, there is still a great deal of learning and confusion about the novel COVID-19. After all, it is only a few months old in humans. But while we continue to grow in the understanding and impact of it, I wanted to document some of the resilience that has been seen in our community during this time thus far:
> As Henderson Health Care has faced significant adjustments for patient interactions, families and friends can often be spotted visiting their loved ones through the windows of the hospital and long-term care facilities. Pastors have also been able to check on congregants this way. A one story facility is a definite benefit through this!
> Can we also talk about the Henderson Health Care in general? It has long been a source of community pride, but what a gift to have dedicated providers and staff to offer such personal care during this time.
> The school closed the building to students on March 17, but it quickly adapted to learning opportunities online. HCS staff also continued to supply meals to children in Henderson and Bradshaw with friendly drive-through greetings. They did a commendable job under the circumstances.
> The school, local businesses, and community members provided assistance to families in need to support continued learning at home.
> Grocery store employees have worked diligently to stock shelves and prioritize needed items to local patrons. In accordance with the CDC recommendations, the employees began wearing masks and encouraged shoppers to do the same.
> North 10th Street celebrated Palm Sunday from their driveways together waving branches and singing organized songs.
> Churches took their services and programming online in fast and creative fashion. As they transition back to in person gatherings, they are doing it with caring thought.
> Our downtown restaurant switched to curbside pickup, freezer meals, and occasional special offerings such as Saturday breakfast items.
> Several local businesses have adopted creative online sale strategies. Residents have also taken care to support local entities.
> A community-wide “bear hunt” took place where residents put stuffed animal bears, colored bears, or even a nighttime projection of bears out for an activity. It was reported that there were 80+ bears to find around Henderson.
> The Henderson Recreation Department took their Annual Easter Egg Hunt to business windows and supplied students with candy bags via the school lunches.
> Encouraging chalk messages have been etched around town to encourage health care workers, police, and the general public.
> Two organized cruise nights have taken place so far for residents to safely socialize. There have been great turnouts at them!
> A drive-through graduation reception was held on Main Street to honor the HCS Class of 2020.
> There have been many baked goods and gifts exchanged between porches for encouragement. Many have also chronicled the increased extent to which they have visited with their neighbors during this time.
> One resident served free drive-through ice cream.
> Galaway Creek Golf Course has been a beautiful place of distanced recreation.
> There is surely a record number of spring fish caught at Lakeview for how many youth have dotted the banks!
> The Henderson Aquatic Center has taken steps to prepare what they can for a possible later pool opening announcement from Governor Ricketts.
> The Henderson Recreation Department had to delay the start of t-ball, softball, and baseball, but is making revised plans based on loosened restrictions beginning in June.
> The Henderson Farmers Market will still take place and is set to begin on June 2.
It has been a challenging and confusing season. Even among monumental alterations, however, there has been much good taking place. Keep looking for the good, but remember that it’s even better to be among those making the good happen. Play your part as a community member to keep each other safe and well. We truly are in this together.
May the holographic presenter conclude with assessment that the “Some bigger, none better” slogan was evidenced during this time.
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