The crisis that our country and our state currently face are unlike anything I can remember in my lifetime. It is absolutely heartbreaking when looking around at the toll taken on our communities: sports tournaments have been cancelled or indefinitely postponed, businesses and workers are suffering, nursing homes have been shut off to visitors, the election has been disrupted, and students at every level may finish their school year away from the learning environments they have come to love. These are certainly dark times, and I am praying each day for the countless lives that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
As we hunker down and exercise social distancing, I hope and believe that the people of Northwest Ohio will continue to act as the loving and caring neighbors that we are. I am so incredibly blessed and proud to have grown up in a region that looks out for its neighbors and lends a helping hand to those in need. In the coming weeks, keep doing those things. Call to check up on your neighbors regularly (especially the elderly). Extend help to those that are suffering or isolated. Support local businesses. Order take-out from your local restaurants. Offer to run errands or provide resources and support for those that cannot help themselves. Be generous with the time and resources that you have.
If you are experiencing any hardship, know that you are not alone. I have full faith that if we pull together and love our neighbors in every way we know how, we will emerge even stronger than before, as a community, state, and nation. The love, care, and support of each other will get us through this crisis, as they have countless times before. As President George W. Bush said in his 2nd
inaugural address, “In America's ideal of freedom, the exercise of rights is ennobled by service, and mercy, and a heart for the weak. Liberty for all does not mean independence from one another. Our nation relies on men and women who look after a neighbor and surround the lost with love.”
With all of this in mind, remember to continue taking the necessary precautions to protect the health and well-being of you, your family, and your community. Continue to wash your hands thoroughly, avoid large crowds and physical contact with others, and avoid buying necessary goods in unnecessarily large quantities. If you have questions about the coronavirus or what you can do to respond or help, visit www.coronavirus.ohio.gov
or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).
If you are in need of any assistance accessing state resources, please do not hesitate to contact my office at McColley@ohiosenate.gov
or 614-466-8150. Although my staff is now working from home, they will be prepared to assist you. Already, the State of Ohio is making unemployment compensation more available for displaced workers, and is working to provide small business loans to affected businesses.
Ohio will get through this crisis. It will not be easy, but our commitment to one another and care for our neighbors will be an invaluable asset as we fight the spread of coronavirus and recover from these deep economic wounds. We must let this commitment define us - and guide our response. Rob McColley is a State Senator representing Defiance, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert, and Williams Counties, and parts of Auglaize, Fulton, and Logan counties in the Ohio Senate. Website: www.ohiosenate.gov/McColley