I don’t know about you, but for me, these past few weeks have been an absolute blur. It was just two weeks ago that we embarked upon an unknown path, with schools, public buildings and even Village Hall just starting to close. A few days later, we could no longer dine in at our favorite restaurants, and soon after, we found ourselves under Governor Pritzker’s statewide Stay at Home Order. The rate and amount of change has been unprecedented, and the way we’ve each had to accommodate these changes in our personal and professional lives has been stressful, anxiety-inducing and all-out difficult. It’s hard to believe that what we once thought normal was only two weeks ago. It seems much longer.
Amidst the uncertainty, I am working to find ways to be grateful for what we do have right now. We have technology that helps us connect with others. We have food that can be delivered to our homes. We have the ability to pass the time with streaming services, virtual tours and book discussions. I’m grateful for all of this, but I’m particularly grateful for people.
I have the unique privilege of being able to rely on a fantastic Village team of professionals that serve our community every day. Village staff has done in the past few weeks what we might never have thought possible before. Our Village Hall receptionist Puresa Kirkman is answering the Village’s main telephone number from her kitchen table. Public Works employees are spending their days making sure the most critical parts of our lives are reliably delivered (you don’t know how important waterworks and sewer mains are until they don’t work). Front line Public Safety Officers are serving and protecting us (donning gloves, masks and shields to do it). In addition, our technology team, payroll and billing clerks on up to our executive staff are working both here in Glencoe and remotely to keep our organization and our community running. All day, every day, no matter the circumstances.
We’re learning, changing and adapting constantly not only because we must but also because our team does it well. I can’t tell you how proud I am of what the Village staff is accomplishing for our community. It is not easy work, but this group of dedicated individuals understands and executes their mission to the very best of their ability every day. I’m grateful for what they are doing, and I know based on the positive outreach I’ve received from many residents and businesses that you are too.
There are others that deserve our gratitude too; first, our amazing doctors, nurses, heath care workers, researchers and scientists that are working diligently to prepare for, treat and care for all of us. Next, we must recognize the countless other heroes around us: grocery store employees (the Grand Food Center has been a tremendous resource to Glencoe), truck drivers delivering goods to waiting consumers, postal workers and delivery services, small business owners finding ways to continue meeting the needs of their customers and restaurant and delivery workers that are continuing to feed our community. Let’s also remember information technology professionals who support the cyber networks that allow us to work remotely from the comfort of our homes, as well as those working behind the scenes to keep businesses and governments running by processing payroll and purchase orders. Utilities have never been more important – those that keep the power on, the gas flowing, the water running, and the internet streaming are keeping us all safe (and sane). Last, let's thank our local teachers for continuing to educate our children through e-learning environments. Thanks abound.
To those of you getting restless at home and wondering when this will all end, I hear you. I’ve got two kids under four, and my wife and I are both working full-time from home. These moments are HARD and staying in our house is tough. I’m grateful that my family is around me so that I’m not isolated and alone, but I’m missing my 78-year-old mom who is a few towns away. Thankfully we can talk on the phone, but I can’t hug her like I can hug my wife and daughters when the day’s less than ideal. But we’re hunkered down together, and that’s enough for now.
To those of you that have also hunkered down and are following the Governor’s Order, thank you for doing so. For those of you wondering if it really matters if you or your kids go out, chat with neighbors or join friends at the park, I’m here to share the message (again) that it does matter, and you need to do all you can to stay home. We get through this by all doing what’s asked of us. If we don’t, we put every person I’ve listed in this message at risk, as well as everyone else in our community and beyond. If we want our lives to stay “normal” in our new normal, we must remember that our actions impact those around us. COVID-19 is here in Glencoe – we have nine cases as of today (track for yourself with Cook County’s new dashboard system). That number will inevitably increase; however, if we do all that we can and stay home, we can do our part to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Glencoe.
Please – Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay home. I’m grateful for this community, and to each of you for your role in keeping #GlencoeStrong.