In the 1950s during the Cold War, Americans built shelters in the event of a nuclear war. If you go by Park Avenue School there are signs for air raid shelters and on the roof of the old Town Hall (now the Candy Apple Shop on Main St.) is a small structure that was an aircraft lookout during WW2, it’s inscribed with names of local boys who volunteered to keep an eye on things. I tell you this information as a historical reference and to contrast the menace we face now that is invisible to the naked eye, disquieting, a health crisis that is unprecedented.
The expression of something “going viral” has taken on new weight in a few short months, maybe the internet reference has helped us understand the proportions of a pandemic. The combination of school, industry, business closure, and historic stock market losses – the gravity of what is unfolding has us all nervous for our health, our families, and the future of our communities.
From crisis arises promise. When Honor Flight coordinators, Chris Little and Jim Mehling, recognized that seniors needed delivery of food and medication, ‘Adopt a Town of Warwick Senior’, was born. It took shape quickly and started as a Facebook post. If you need the service, please call Village or Town Hall or the Warwick Police Department. There will be many stories of neighbors helping neighbors in the weeks ahead. I urge everyone to check in on their neighbors, especially if they are seniors.
Possibly one of the most difficult aspects of what we are facing is the social or physical distancing. In a community that is close and families that are closer, it is a challenge. Shaking hands and hugs are understandably taboo. Distancing is important, even at the supermarket or pharmacy – anywhere you have to wait in line. Self-isolation should be practiced if you have any flu like symptoms or have known exposure to someone with the virus or have traveled recently.
If the symptoms increase, please call your doctor. If you feel ill do not go to any medical facility without a prior appointment, this is to prevent possible exposure to health care workers and others.
Here is a list of websites and phone numbers to find important health related resources, including up to date local, regional, and state related information such as Executive Orders or where to find hotlines or small-business related information:
Town of Warwick: 986-1124; www.townofwarwick.org .
Village of Warwick: 986-2031; www.villageofwarwick.org.
O.C. Health Department Hotline: 1-800-832-1200 (including assistance with prescription drug or food delivery).
Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce: 986-2720; www.warwickcc.org (including comprehensive information on local take-out offerings).
The Center for Disease Control: www.cdc.gov.
Orange County website: www.orangecountygov.com.
We are all doing our part and because of this we will succeed.
The above column, written by Village of Warwick Mayor Michael Newhard, has been published in the Mar. 25 issue of the Warwick Valley Dispatch.