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I do not expect you to believe it but there are some people who don’t care. If you are wondering what I am talking about, I am talking about the dreaded coronavirus or its code name, Covid-19.
Almost every community in America is being affected by the virus. Businesses are shutting down, jobless claims now exceed 16 million, unemployment is its highest since the Great Depression.
When the coronavirus was first discovered, nobody expected it to blow up the way it did. In fact, the virus was not perceived as dangerous at all until it took lives in China and travelled to members of our county and community. The seemingly unpreventable spread of the virus can incite fear among individuals, installing a sense of panic in our entire community.
Actions such as panic buying and hoarding reflect the fear we have that this epidemic will never end. Perpetrating this behavior confines valuable resources to our own homes, yet leaves those who may need it more defenseless and undersupplied.
It’s reasonable to be more self-serving during these times, and it’s hard to share with others due to the fear of the virus. However, as a kind, caring community, we should try to make an effort to think of others during this scary pandemic, not leave people without food supplies or things needed to shelter in place because they weren’t able to get to the supermarkets in time.
How one high school cares
Yet, despite the instilled fear of the virus, community members are still fighting to do good. Members of Gunn High School in Palo Alto, California, have created a group called Gunn Cares, where people are made aware of opportunities where they are able to serve their community and help those in need.
Community members all over Palo Alto offer their services to those who are unprepared or high risk. These brave and generous actions show the capacity for their community to rise up beyond the fear and selfish actions to care for those who are impacted most by this virus.
This virus has taught me a lot about human panic and fear. The vulnerability of people to a fearful virus often leads them to harbor blame and anger. Like many epidemics in the past, such as Ebola and the Spanish flu, the origins of epidemics cause tense, racially charged discussions, even though diseases do not discriminate.
People who have never even been to China experience discrimination and bias at the hands of those motivated by fear. Violent attacks have been reported around the world, and people are no longer safe, perhaps even in towns they have lived in their entire lives.
However, this virus has also shown me that this community, as well as our nation, is resilient and helpful in times of crisis. All around the world, people have been contributing to the efforts of providing resources to hospitals, donating food to those in need, and offering service to those who are at high risk.
People all around the world are thinking of ingenious solutions to help others and offering their own time, money, and resources to make a real difference. Entrepreneurs, tutors and engineers offer their services to help the public, free of financial motives.
Despite all of the negative news coverage that we are often attracted to, these inspiring actions heavily outweigh any negative activity. They represent the unwavering light of human spirit, and our capacity to be generous and kind, and to sacrifice ourselves to help other people. Covid-19 affects us all, whether in big or small ways. Let this be a time for us to become a tighter-knit community and find ways to push past this virus, while remaining resilient and strong.
Interview with Superintendent Bartalo
Schools are a place that are seeing major changes due to this pandemic. Superintendent Brian Bartalo of Holley Central School District does a lot of work, but his work has definitely changed since schools have closed.
When asked how he would say this pandemic has affected his daily work, he answered “Wow! My work has been very different. I still come into the office here at Holley Central School District Office. I come in every day but I’m usually alone or maybe one or two other people in the office in order to do payroll, work on the budget… and we stay distant.”
He goes on to say, “We work in separate offices and it affects me because I am used to working with lots of people like teachers and administrators and especially the students. I miss that the most. I have had to do different jobs that I never had to do before, so the work has changed as well.”
It will be interesting to see how Superintendent Bartalo’s job shifts as months go on.
(Mr. Gardner’s homeroom)
Shame on Steve Smith for his insincere and false stance on empathy towards the George Floyd murder. Lest you not forget our country follows the legal principle of presumption of innocence where we are all considered innocent until proven guilty.
Where the responsibility of the police officer is to apprehend and detain a suspect – not be judge, juror and executioner. Where the punishment for (allegedly) using a forged monetary instrument is not the death penalty.
You are right in not judging all police officers by a few bad apples, but every single police officer is held to a high standard of upholding our laws and not breaking or taking advantage of them themselves.
The black-on-black crime you speak of is something their communities are trying to heal and overcome. However, when that crime takes place those individuals are typically always apprehended, charged, held in custody without bail and tried with the long arm of the law. Justice was served, family and friends were able to receive some type of closure.
There is no justice served, and definitely no closure received, when a police officer can continue to murder, assault, abuse the suspects they are sent out to apprehend. Losing a job and still receiving a pension is no punishment at all.
Buffalo (formerly of Medina)
I have seen and heard enough. I cannot believe how people can be appalled by a sports star kneeling on a field during the national anthem, can call them names and ask for them to fired when some of these same people think it’s justifiable to kneel on a man’s neck for almost nine minutes, until he dies and the man was already in handcuffs.
I took an oath to uphold and protect the constitution of this country when I went in the military and I served with pride. Now we have a leader in the White House who talks about sending our military against the citizens of our country. That same man also criticizes and tries to tear down military heroes like General Mattis.
I also ask you to remember that that same man in the White House I am talking about was the same one who did everything possible to not serve in the military. He has absolutely no right to say anything about any veteran or anyone’s military records.
We have to stand up to get justice for all people – not just people who can afford to buy it. I know we have to remember how important it is to get out and vote for representation for all of us, not just those who donated the most. I ask you to take a minute and think about the last few years.
Please get out and vote. It’s up to “we the people” to save this country.
US Army veteran
Please protect our granddaughter, Paige, a physician’s assistant. Paige was a fierce 3-sports competitor, wanted the ball in crunch time, winning her high school B-ball league championship with last-second game-winning shots in consecutive games.
Although only 5’4” she could sky and won and dominated college and high school volleyball games with crushing kills.
She brought the same fire to her academics, graduating from D’Youville Physician Assistant School, Summa Cum Laude.
Now she brings the same energy and zest to serving patients in an Emergency Room, working many hours.
Please honor her and protect her and all health care workers and zealously follow the COVID-19 guidelines.
As we relax our safeguards slightly, don’t personally relax, as is the tendency. The U.S. is ravaged with the disease. Although only 1/18th of the world’s population, we’re nearly 1/3rd in reported cases and more than a 1/4th of the deaths.
Wall Street Journal’s Michael S. Derby: “Federal Reserve Bank of New York President John Williams said 5/21, it is unclear when the U.S. economy will fully recover from the coronavirus pandemic… With the economic outlook hinging on how the virus is contained, ‘it’s impossible to know exactly how and when workers and businesses will be fully back to work and when consumers will return…,’” Williams said.
Our diligence in guarding against spreading the virus is not a private health issue with only personally taking risks, but a public health issue: if we get ill, we’ll likely spread it to others. On Buffalo tv news, a doctor was featured saying that “a vigorous cough can project the virus 18 feet.”
Please do your part, obey the guidelines and protect our granddaughter Paige and her family and patients. Protect all those serving you, in health care offices, grocery stores, etc. and also our failing economy, the implications of which are life-threatening to the working and elderly poor, a large part of our country’s population.
Please maintain “social distance,” and wear your masks to protect others.
Please follow the guidelines. Protect our PA granddaughter.
Bob and Margaret Golden
This pandemic is affecting families a lot! I mean A LOT! I know this is a very difficult time we are all going through! But we just got to deal with it!
I think you guys should all listen to this quote “Everything will be OK. Stay safe, stay calm, and have faith we will get through this.” This is an amazing quote. I think being positive and staying safe is the best way to get through this.
I know lots of kids hate at home learning! I mean I do! I hate how our teachers can’t be there when we need help with our work like they would be if we were at school. When your teachers aren’t there to help you, your family is trying to teach you and help you out. But they have lots of work, too.
Most families can’t go to work so they must work from home. According to Care Manager of Mental Health Alan Girangaya, “Now that I am working from home it becomes a balancing act where I have to organize my time to make sure both my work and the at home learning work is completed when needed.”
I know when lots of people work on the same WiFi or are constantly on the internet (which we must be on now). It can boot you off Zoom meetings or automatically closes whatever you are on and it doesn’t save it. Or, like me, when you try to submit something it doesn’t go through so you have to do it again.
After all of this happens, you just don’t want to give up. But you can’t because it’s a grade and you don’t want to fail! Meanwhile your families are telling you to deal with it and to just do it!
Or lots of families can’t get any food and they are going hungry. This affects their whole family. Mr. Girangaya responded saying, “the free food services are a wonderful service in this difficult time.” “
Also, it isn’t just affecting them physically it is also affecting them emotionally. Lots of people are upset and sad and just want to be left alone and who can blame them.
The Covid-19 cases are spreading fast and people are worried about their families that live in other states and countries. This virus is scaring lots of people! Also, you can’t visit family or celebrate birthdays with your family face to face. Now people are celebrating online using face time, Zoom, and many more websites and apps.
I hope all of you reading this will stay positive and stay safe and don’t worry about a thing we will get through this together! Stay calm and try to do something new this is a great opportunity to learn something new!
Lastly Mr. Girangaya would like to give some advice to all families out there that are suffering during this difficult time. He said, “I want to tell them to hang in there.”
He would also like to say, “you’re not alone and there are services and resources out there you can use.”
Again, this is affecting a lot of families in many ways! So, stay positive it will make us all feel better about this situation.
Holley sixth-grader, Mrs. Grillo’s homeroom
To the residents of the Village of Holley, it is with mixed emotions that I am announcing that I will be not be running for a third term as mayor of Holley in the upcoming election.
Due to COVID-19 our terms have been extended until the revised election date of September 15, 2020, therefore I will be resigning in mid-July. The main reasons are that the demands of my professional life and family life are such that I cannot commit to another term as mayor and both of these things have to be my priority at this time. I truly hope the residents of Holley can understand and appreciate this tough decision I have made.
I have served the Village for over 15 years now as Planning Board chairman, then village trustee, and as mayor for the last 4 years. When I decided to get involved in local government, my goal was to bring my set of professional experiences and leadership approach to the table to do my part to make Holley the best it can be.
I have always told people that when I got involved in politics it was not to simply sit on a board and vote yes or no at meetings. I wanted to take my vision, to do projects and tackle tough problems.
I believe that those I have worked with in the past would attest to that. To accomplish this, it had to be through building relationships with other local municipal, county, and state officials as well as the village staff and trustees.
It also involved engaging with residents and making sure they stayed informed and engaged in these efforts that were going on. I have thoroughly enjoyed all of it and will miss it!
There are many things I am proud of that we have been able to accomplish in my years of service but none compare to the revitalization of the old high school into Holley Gardens. It is truly awesome to see the lights on in that beautiful old building and to know that people are living there and that very soon the Village offices will be there as well.
Our community and officials at all levels pulled together working with the developer to make that project a success and it is wonderful to be a part of it! Our village will be a better place with that historic building revitalized and I am truly happy for our community.
I am also excited about the water and sidewalk projects in our village. We took on replacing about one-third of our aged water and sidewalks in the village which is an enormous project for just about any town or village. This construction work will begin in June, finishing up in 2021. These projects are in good hands with our staff and consultants and am confident of their success. I am so excited to see the end result of these projects and the transformation that Holley will go through in the next 12-18 months.
There are other accomplishments I would like to point out but I will stop with these. I point them out not to draw attention to myself as if they are “my” accomplishments but to our community, village staff, local officials, because these are things “we” have done together.
I am proud to have served the village as Planning Board chairman and village trustee over the years. However, without question, having the privilege to be your mayor and being able to work with everyone I have met along the way is a great honor and a time I will always cherish. Thank you for your trust and support!
Brian J. Sorochty
I’m writing to support my friend, Jeanne Crane, for Lyndonville School District, Board of Education.
I’ve known Jeanne for a very long time and I know she would be a great asset to the Lyndonville School Board. Jeanne’s best qualities are her honesty, her integrity and her humility. All of these are necessary to being a good school board member.
Jeanne knows that a board member’s job is to provide great educational opportunities for children, at a cost that the district can afford.
How do I know? I’ve been on the Medina school board for almost 13 years. In that time I have served as president and vice president as well. I know what it takes and Jeanne Crane has it.
That’s why it is my honor to support her for the Lyndonville School Board.
Town of Shelby
Cheers and thanks from Oak Orchard Health for the recognition by the CDC for the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments’ nursing team.
Oak Orchard Health depends on our local county health departments to fulfill its mission of dispensing health care services to the thousands of farmworkers and their families in our agricultural counties.
This year, of course, farmworkers mirror our local populations with their concerns about COVID-19. Many of our full time, migrating and H2-A workers come to our region with understandable trepidation about the high numbers of COVID patients and deaths throughout NYS.
It takes inordinate skills within our local health care workers to confidently calm those concerns and to give not only routine inoculations but masks, sanitizers and instructions about “social distancing” to the workers and their families.
Over the years, these health care workers have developed trusting and warm relationships with the farmworkers and the farmers in our region.
Thanks to all of your dedication put into action every day.
Oak Orchard Health Board member
The Covid-19 pandemic is affecting families on many fronts.
• The Financial Downfall
The pandemic has caused a lot of people to lose their jobs. Some homes that had more than one income either went down to one or none. There are families that had or have to apply for government funding to help make ends meet like food stamps, cash assistance and or medical coverage that before were living fine prior to Covid-19 leaving many American homes with desperation and the feeling of losing it all.
This has caused many families prides to be affected. More adults are fighting over how they are going to make ends meet because either they were struggling before and or are struggling more.
• Emotional Shifts Among Children
Children are being affected by this pandemic because there is no social contact among family and friends. No school to let learning be taught properly except through social media platforms or a worldwide use app called ZOOM. At times it is not as effective as classroom learning because communication can be rough. Some homes do not have a strong Wi-Fi connection causing the feed to come back lagged or delayed, there is not an option to just focus on the teacher so your concentration is divided among other students that are attending the group. Children no longer go outside to play to let off some energy and are stuck at home doing the same thing over and over again, this is causing a high increase in young children and adolescent depression. Even morphing children to copycat anti-social behaviors.
• A Family Affair
This pandemic can have either a positive or negative effect on families. In some cases, there is no escape from each other. Most apartments and homes are single floor living quarters, where rooms are limited to as few as a 1 bedroom or to a five-room home. Due to the lack of space families are becoming more hostile. On the other hand, if you are lucky or fortunate to have a multi-level or more rooms plus a backyard then you can say you are better off than the average Joe because you are not always starring at one another for hours on end.
Wearing masks everywhere you go, consistently wearing gloves and using hand sanitizer has become the new norm for most families. This sad crisis has brought most families closer in everyday living.
The new age of living has learned to adapt old style living. Families have become more creative in daily living, moms are learning how to sew, more and more parents are learning to cook, or more home cooked meals are being made.
Faith in homes are probably being practiced more in homes if it wasn’t being done before. Like my mother keeps saying, “things are going back to how they used to be when my parents and their parents’ parents and even when I was growing up were!!!”
• A Mother’s Concern
On a most recent interview I had with Ms. Doris Llorens, a mother of three, when asked a series of questions she sincerely expressed her concerns and living adjustments to this pandemic. Ms. Llorens stated, “What scares me the most is the what ifs and the not knowing. For example, what if I or my children contract this virus? My kids need me, and I need them, so I try to think positive for the most part. We limit our travel to necessities only.” She began to express her concerns about her children’s attitude on the “Stay at Home” lock down. “I see how my children went from asking questions like where are we going today? Do we have any plans this weekend? Are we hanging out at my aunt’s house?
They then shifted to, “Why do we have to leave the house? Can’t we just stay home? We don’t want to go outside.”
“This whole thing feels like its straight out of a horror movie. I believe we as adults can manage and adjust to certain situations but it’s not fair to our kids, this is such a sad period of psychological warfare,” Ms. Llorens said.
She continued, “The children have become homebodies. I do not know if this a good thing or a bad thing. Hopefully this will be a temporary phase and once it is all over, they will not be afraid to go outside and just be kids.”
Ms. Llorens said, “In the end, this pandemic I believe has brought us closer. We spend more time together. We spend as much time as we possibly can. Our communication went from a quick conversation to sitting and understanding. We all have learned to appreciate what you have and be thankful instead of focusing on what you do not have.”
I would like to thank Ms. Llorens for the opportunity and time given to interview her.
We can all agree that together we will overcome this. Let’s all practice good hygiene and try to be cautious of our surroundings.
Stay safe America.
Holley sixth-grader – Miss Lippa’s homeroom