I hesitate to use the words “new normal” because there is nothing normal about what we are all going through. These past few weeks have been full of uncertainty, as businesses and schools have closed their doors while the state of California has directed residents to stay at home and maintain social distancing to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. While we have all had to make a difficult transition for the foreseeable future, there is one thing that will not change: the Santa Clarita spirit.
It may feel like we are isolated and alone, having to stay at home, but it is important for all of us to remember that we are not alone in this challenging time. Although it is necessary to keep our distance to not catch the virus or spread it to those who are most vulnerable, we can still remain connected to our loved ones, friends and neighbors to show our kindness and support for one another.
I have been heartened to hear and see our residents in Santa Clarita are doing just that. Individuals and businesses alike have come up with creative and positive ideas to lift spirits to help those around them cope with stress and remain connected.
Teachers and school staff have driven through neighborhoods, honking their horns and waving to bring happiness to students and their families. This has been a wonderful way for kids to see familiar faces in a time when their daily routine has been disrupted.
Many of you have also seen creative signs around Santa Clarita and have commented about them on social media. These signs, with messages such as “Don’t Lose Faith in Humanity,” “We Stand Together” and “Thank You Healthcare Workers,” are brightening our days and helping us to keep things in perspective.
I have also seen acts of kindness on Nextdoor as people are spending their time at home to not only bring cheer but also help those in need. In one neighborhood, children wrote messages of support with chalk on streets and created a scavenger hunt, asking their neighbors to count the number of chalk hearts in the community when they go out for walks.
Others are offering their services to homebound and elderly neighbors, either by performing yard work or grabbing food and other necessities at the store. Whether you have experienced these acts of kindness in person or have seen them on social media or through local news reports, it certainly makes us proud to be a part of this wonderful community we call home.
We most definitely must make sure to show appreciation to our health care workers, restaurant staff, grocery store clerks, first responders and all those working in essential businesses that remain open so that we may get the supplies and services we need for our families. They are risking exposure to the coronavirus each day they go to work and they deserve our unending thanks and support. I have seen just a smile and a heartfelt thank you go a long way to show our gratitude.
As time goes by, we will slowly see life return to normal. In the meantime, let’s all be a light of kindness and creativity for our families, friends and neighbors so we can get through each day together.
To learn more about the city’s response to the pandemic, please visit SantaClaritaEmergency.com.
Councilwoman McLean is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected].