Daily life is changing

COVID-19 forces local groups to postpone or cancel activities
We all must do our part also

The news comes fast these days. Miss a four-hour news cycle and you have some catching up to do. It happens on every level — from around the world, to our nation, down to our state and finally our county.

When the California Department of Public Health outlined new guidelines last week for public gatherings, the county quickly followed suit. Essentially it wants any gathering of 250 people or more postponed or canceled, and any other gathering should be in a venue that allows for six feet of distance between attendees.

Shortly thereafter, Plumas Unified School District and Feather River College announced the suspension of all nonessential out-of-county travel and began canceling planned events. Other organizations began to follow suit.

We were kept busy posting the cancellation of memorial and church services, community suppers and entertainment events.

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Then on Sunday, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced even more stringent guidelines: anyone 65 or over or with underlying health conditions should self quarantine; all bars, taverns, brew pubs and wineries should close; and all restaurants should serve at half capacity.

Soon that afternoon Feather River College announced a transition to online classes and the next day Plumas Unified School District announced that in classroom instruction would be canceled through spring break, April 10, and options for online or independent study were being discussed.

Our email is flooded with announcements from organizations touting the latest information. A bishop in Sacramento announced a dispensation for elderly Catholics so that they don’t have to attend Sunday mass and expose themselves to potential contact. The corporate offices of Safeway outlined the efforts they are undertaking to keep their customers and employees safe with increased sanitation requirements. PG&E announced it wouldn’t cut off customers’ power during this time of uncertainty.

We are posting pertinent information to our website plumasnews.com. There is now a convenient space on the home page labeled “COVID-19 Plumas Update.” Simply click on it and all of our stories on the subject will be listed in chronological order. If you have information that you want included please email us at [email protected] and we will do our best to post it for you.

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While organizations and entities grapple with what to do for regular meetings and special events, we as individuals can do our part as well. Maintain a space between you and others when you are out in public. Practice good sanitation. Don’t go out if you are ill or if it’s not essential. The virus is here and all we can hope to do now is slow its spread. If we don’t, our health care facilities will be overrun. The doctors, nurses and other staff are our friends, family and neighbors, we need to do our part to protect them. It’s time to follow the lead of the school district and college, and avoid nonessential travel out of the area.

The more people we come into contact with, the greater the chance of bringing the virus home to Plumas County. Yes, it sounds a little paranoid, but it’s exactly what the county and the state are recommending. Texas is actually considering closing its borders. It’s why President Trump closed down travel from China and now much of Europe. Will it stop the coronavirus? No. But will it slow its spread? Yes. Could it save your neighbor? A family member? A friend? Quite possibly.