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NELDON: Do your part — if not for you, then for your community

As Gov. Whitmer made an emergency announcement Sunday evening temporarily moving the state back to Phase Two of the MI Safe Start Plan designed to slow the spread of COVID-19, hearts sank across the Great Lakes State.

Some were outraged by the news, certain their freedoms were being taken away. Many were afraid of what this means for our health system and our own health as case numbers climb to record levels.

Business owners, non-essential employees and customers were worried what this means for their business, their personal finances and the economy.

Parents and teenagers took a ride downhill on the COVID rollercoaster, worried that this means canceled concerts, abandoned sports seasons and lost rites of passage that the Class of 2020 faced.

I’m right there with you fearing for what this means for our communities. My heart hurts for my friends who run businesses both small and large. I feel for people wondering what this means for their employment, and for students wondering if the end of their high school careers will once again be taken away.

We’ve all been preached to repeatedly from the beginning of this pandemic, and I get that many of us are sick of being told what to do, but until we have a vaccine available that the majority of Americans are willing to take, lawmakers, health professionals, friends and neighbors will continue to plead with you to do your part to stop this awful virus.

Rumors that this pandemic would magically end once the election passed have clearly been debunked. If staggering statistics and headlines of hospitals at capacity are not enough to make you do the right thing, then perhaps reflecting on the residual effects of it will help you reconsider your decisions.

If the first wave of this pandemic taught us anything, it’s that our actions can slow the spread. If you want to see your small businesses survive, our economy rebuilt, schools go back to “normal,” do your part. Stay home. Wash your hands. Avoid gatherings. Wear a mask over your mouth and nose.

While you’re at home, shop online at local retailers. Order takeout, and when you pick it up, put on a mask and leave a tip. Donate to local charities that help to feed the hungry, support mental health, provide PPE or make others’ holidays brighter.

Make memories with your loved ones during these weeks at home, and as you fret over all the things you’re missing out on, remember to count your blessings and give thanks for all you have.

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