In North Carolina, to date, there have been 425,040 cases of coronavirus illness and 5,792 deaths. Iredell county's cases are up by 176 to 6,982 cases and 61 deaths. For the small town of Troutman, a population of roughly 2700 poeple, sitting in the middle of a county in the "red zone," the town's officials are hoping a "MaskUP" campaign will encourage folks to put on their masks.
Today in Troutman, the Walgreens parking lot was packed, as was the Food Lion, but people were diligent about social distancing and mask wearing, even though the "walk this way" and "one way" directional stickers on the floor were largely ignored. When people used to wait until entering the doors to slip on their masks, you now see them loading groceries in the car or walking across parking lots while still wearing their face masks, demonstrating an abundance of caution, a shift in overall adherence to the mask mandates and recommendations going on across the US as we try to manage while we wait for innoculation.
The Mayors of Troutman and nearby towns spoke up in this promotional video encouraging residences to remain vigilent and protect each other: #MaskUP Video
Troutman still has that cozy small-town feel and neighborly spirit, but the town is growing and with that, more traffic. Main Street is a popular drive through for people heading to and from nearby Mooresville or heading to I-40. With all of the added traffic, many Troutman stores are still quite busy despite the new stay-at-home changes in the evenings. During the day, the town is bustling with traffic on the small roads that flow through town. The spirit of Christmas seems an undercurrent when it would usually be the talk of the town. You can tell people are anxious. They are worried about the rise in cases here.
Daycares, schools, and public programs like Headstart are stuggling to balance the needs of the children and the needs of hurting families, with the needs to keep everyone involved safe from this virus. Public programs that receive grant funding may be able to ensure their staff gets paid if there are Covid shut-downs, but this is not always the case.
While we all wait as patiently as possible, we should be reminded to find ways to keep that small-town spirit of helping each other in times of need. Reach out to your neighbors with a supportive note in their mailbox. Call them. Leave something nice for them on their porch. There are thigns we can do, even while distanced, to show each other we care. Christmas may be a difficult one this year, but our resolve is strong and we will pull through. Sure, we're all sad there won't be a Christmas parade this year, but we still have other ways to celebrate the season. Safe ways!
Also, reach out to local councilmen and women to thank them for making tough decisions for our town--whether you support them politically or not. Reach out to essential workers and thank them for their service.
You can see up-to-date information about the Covid cases and deaths in Troutmand and the surrounding areas by visiting this link:
Executive order details: COVID-19 Executive Order Information
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