From feeling trapped to bored, inconvenienced to concerned, Franklin County residents are feeling a gamut of emotions as the community adjusts to social distancing in an effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus that is sweeping the national. As of Monday, March 23, no cases of the coronavirus had been reported in Franklin County.
However, the virus has been identified in neighboring Cache County.
Most people are expressing caution and a willingness to adhere to the guidelines offered of washing hands, use sanitizers, and keeping recommended distances from others. Some feel the precautions are worthwhile, others feel the situation has been exaggerated.
“I feel like we just need to use common sense. are prepared if we have to stay in more,” said Virginia Harmon, Glendale. She and her husband have cut down going out, but continue to work and go to the store. A real estate agent, Harmon continues to conduct business, but has modified her approach.
“People are being cautious. I still show houses but it is less busy compared to this time of year and I still call people. ... I don’t shake hands and I don’t get in close proximity of people. “We don’t want to be infected if people have the flu.”
Bill Salerno and his wife, Trish, are limiting their outings as well and as an employee of the West Side School District, are spending time at home instead of working. But they continue to patronize local restaurants by ordering take-out meals.
He and other members of the Lions Club are disappointed they had to cancel the annual Easter Egg Hunt after spending so much time planning it for the community’s children. They miss the meeting with the club members as well, he said.
Work for Doug Rallison, who runs a dairy in Franklin hasn’t changed, he said. “I still have to go out daily to my dairy to take of the business. I don’t hesitate to go out like to the bank. I have to carry on and exercise faith.”
A Clifton woman said that because her family is prepared, her family hasn’t been affected much. But she does worry about the economy. “The way that it is going right now, (it) could go into a possible depression. It’s a virus that is going to run its course.”
Others, like Van Woodward owner of Woodward’s Country Store in Weston, are doing all they can to keep business moving forward.
“Even though everyone is freaked out, people still have to get necessities like gas and food. That’s why we are still open. People are still going to work.” He and his staff are taking more precautious than they ever have before by washing their hands more and wiping doorknobs.
“I have to take care of these people in Weston. I’ll hang in there as I am doing a service to our community. The people who live here are also careful. If they are nervous about it, and don’t want to go out and possibly get sick, we take items out to them. We’re ready for it to be over. In the meantime, we’re here to serve,” said Woodward.
Helen Smith, Riverdale, said social distancing has had a big impact on her lifestyle, but “nothing earth shattering.”
“We are Logan Temple ordinance workers and our time there has been cut down to make smaller groups of people there. We also are supporters of our grandchildren who were involved in wrestling and track and we would go to all of their events. Those have all been cancelled. So we miss those activities with the family. The biggest difference is that church is cancelled. I’m in the Relief Society and we are trying to stay in touch with everyone to see if they are okay.”
Andrea Kezerian, Fairview, said she is more aware of washing her hands and those of her children, but the young age of her family and proximity to her parents means they don’t leave home much anyway. And they don’t run to the store often, but the scare has made its impact.
“I feel people in general have hunkered down. I can’t call people like I used to or have them come over or I don’t have the freedom to invite them to come over like we used to and they probably won’t come anyway. So, yes, my social circle has changed. But I feel it is important not to spread the virus,” she said.
Life is as usual for Carol and Melvin Beutler, Dayton, because they grow their own vegetables and fruit and have family close by. “We don’t travel a lot. It hasn’t changed our lifestyle. It just makes us wonder what’s going on? I just hope that in the distant future when the historians talk of the great scare of this time that it turned out that it really wasn’t as bad as they said it would be,” said Carol.
“We try not to visit people but just handle a lot of things by phone which helps to make life simpler. We’re always here to help. So let’s work together to make this work out for the better,” she said.
A young mother in Whitney was heard saying how nice it was to have all her children home quietly working on homework. She has also enjoyed helping her children learn without the stress of having to be somewhere else.