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Thank you from myself and the staff at the Southwest Valley Chamber of Commerce. We’re grateful you and our community adjusted to the most unusual world-changing event in our lifetime. It hasn’t been easy. 

Each of us had to make unexpected changes, discover new ways to get things done and make the best of an unknown situation. We learned to rely on texting, email, phone calls and video chat more than ever. At the same time, so many of us proved we are the heart of the community. We didn’t sing like the Italians, but we looked out for each other, shared with others, supported our favorite local businesses the best we could and (most importantly) stayed as upbeat as possible.

I and a lot of other people said to stay positive. I realize it’s difficult to have a positive outlook when you’re out of a job, low on supplies, have your routine and lifestyle disrupted, concerned about money to pay bills while a very contagious virus could get you without warning. A positive attitude is a way to show hope and push away worry. Worry is the slippery slope that leads to despair, and despair can be crippling. As proof, look online for many inspiring stories of people doing good and great things. Many good things are happening in your neighborhood and our community.

Hundreds of business and organizations are still doing something to serve the community. Many of the charities and nonprofit groups continue operations. Yes, they need help now more than ever. Big and small businesses are doing something, whether it’s making supplies available or providing other support for the community. 

You can find what’s open online southwestvalleychamber.org/supportlocal. 

Thank you to everyone who submitted their information. Every business and nonprofit is encouraged to post their information for free on the Support Local hub. You’ll also find information about the virus and relief programs at southwestvalleychamber.org/covid19. Both webpages are frequently updated.

Sadly, there have been bad or questionable activities due to the virus situation. It’s despicable there are federal officials playing politics instead of making the people the priority. The virus stimulus package doesn’t need $35 million going to the Kennedy Arts Center in Washington, D.C., and that’s just one example.

National news adds some political twists to create controversy because they want to sell advertising. As much as birth rates are expected to rise later this year, divorce numbers have already seen an increase. Each person reacts differently to living in close quarters or isolation. Domestic violence and suicide rates might also rise. Stay positive! There’s always more good than bad in the world. 

So, what’s next?  All of us are learning as we go, including people at all government levels. This is the most unusual world-changing event in our lifetime, remember? All I can say is continue looking out for each other. Our best asset is each other, and that’s how we’re going to get through this. Stay safe, stay healthy and let’s make it a great day in the Southwest Valley.