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In the April 2020 Print Edition

Mar 30, 2020 06:00AM ● By Pamela Johnson
Coronavirus has come to Bellingham. It had to happen sooner or later, and as I update this, on March 30, 2020, I am still absorbing the news from this morning's televised briefing: Bellingham now has EIGHT confirmed cases of COVID-19. (Of course, by the time you read this, that number may have increased.)

NOTE: The Local Emergency Management Team provides daily (Mon-Fri) COVID-19 updates at 10 a.m., televised on the ABMI local government channel--Channel 11 on Comcast and Channel 45 on Verizon, or streamed on the ABMI Website--select the Government Channel Live Stream. (Questions may be submitted via email to the Local Emergency Management Team at [email protected]. Depending on the number of questions received, questions will be answered during the daily updates.

The fact that some Bellingham residents have coronavirus is not a reason to panic. But it is a reason for those whose attitude about the pandemic has thus far been, let's say, cavalier, to get serious. It can--and indeed will-- happen to you if you do not take the appropriate precautions. To those people who say "I'm young and healthy, it wouldn't be that bad," I say, "maybe not for you, but you could pass it along to someone for whom it would be fatal."  And lastly, to those who claim that coronavirus is no more dangerous than the flu, I would refer them to an article appearing in a recent issue of The Intercept, which says that Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has repeatedly explained that the new coronavirus appears to be about 10 times more lethal than flu (https://theintercept.com/2020/03/25/coronavirus-flu-comparison-trump/).

So let’s all step back and take a breath. By now, just about everyone has been affected by the coronavirus in one way or another. Our number-one concern should be our health, and for many that’s the case. But let's face it, people are also extremely concerned with how economically healthy they are—how they are going to put food on the table, keep the lights and the heat on, and pay the bills.

The government is promising help, but how much and when?  And what about the people that don't fit into their specific categories? For example, Independent contractors and sole proprietors pay plenty of money into social security, but cannot collect unemployment because they own the business, even though the business has essentially died--or is in a coma. Sure, there will be small business loans available if you can navigate through the bureaucracy and actually obtain one, but who wants to be on the hook for a loan that you're not sure you'll ever be able to repay? Because let's face it, for some businesses, there will simply be no coming back from this. (There is supposed to be a loan forgiveness feature, but more research on that is necessary.)     

Business owners—of small businesses in particular—are concerned about their family, employees, customers, and finally themselves, in about that order. When we start to return to some kind of normalcy, we’re going to have to pick up the pieces. And while we're doing that, we need to remember to support the local businesses that always support our community.

Once the state of emergency is eventually lifted, and you decide to go to the big box store or to continue ordering everything online, please think about your neighbors first, the local businesses that support the little league, the local school fundraisers and the ham and bean suppers. They are going to need us now more than ever—and the Bellingham Bulletin needs them to advertise more than ever in order for us to keep delivering reliable town news to your door. (The Master Plan Implementation Committee's 2019 survey of residents showed the Bellingham Bulletin to be the number one source for town news.)
 
Please remember that local businesses are invested in our community; they hire locally, deliver better service, and they can bring in visitors from surrounding towns. So please support local businesses and particularly the businesses that advertise in the Bellingham Bulletin.

Now, below are some highlights from the April issue; or, scroll below them to find the digital edition which you can read in its entirety.

Bellingham Policies Geared to Minimizing Spread of COVID-19

Bellingham Policies Geared to Minimizing Spread of COVID-19

The Municipal Center is closed (except by appt.), the library & senior center are closed 'til further notice, and other departments are operating under modified guidelines as detailed here. Read More » 


Bellingham Housing Program Offers Grants to Assist Homeowners

At the end of 2019, Bellingham received a grant of $800,000 from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development to complete two projects. Read More » 


Why Are These Buyers Asking Me to Pay Their Closing Costs

Why Are These Buyers Asking Me to Pay Their Closing Costs?

It’s great to be a seller in today’s tight market. What comes as a surprise to many sellers is that quite a few buyers will ask a seller to pay for their closing costs. Read More » 

 

Nadine Clifford and her 8-year-old daughter Meghan at ConnectEd  Inspire in Bellingham The little robot Nadine is holding named Blitzenhas been programmed by students in a computer coding class

ConnectEd & Inspired Offers Unique Learning Opportunities

Nadine Clifford considered the possibilities of creating a space with activities that “would bring people out of their houses to learn and connect...Today, the result is ConnectEd & Inspired Read More » 

 

Ostrander Insurance A Spring Midterm Insurance Quiz

Ostrander Insurance: A Spring Midterm Insurance Quiz

Test your knowledge of gap insurance, tree damage, unleashed dogs and glass claims by taking Ostrander Insurance's spring mid-term quiz . Read More » 

 





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