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Coronavirus: We’re In This Together, We’ll Get Out Of It Together

From Your Publishers
Bill Bowman & PJ Parker

These are scary times.

A deadly virus is making its way among us, indiscriminately striking young and old, fit and infirm with a speed and ferocity that we have not seen before.

This insidious virus is particularly deadly to our elders, to those with respiratory issues, and those with compromised immune systems.

At its worst, it leaves in its wake tears, broken hearts and shattered dreams, and a feeling of helplessness among the friends and loved ones of its victims.

And here we are, walking around wearing face masks, keeping six feet away from others, incessantly washing our hands and isolating ourselves in an effort to starve the coronavirus of hosts, which, at this point, is the only proven defense against it.

It would be easy and understandable, then, to want to hide, to burrow in our homes until this, too, has passed, and hope that it doesn’t take too much from us in the process.

But we humans are a stubborn lot, and, for the most part, we won’t go down without a fight. And that’s where the hope lies.

Anyone who has lived in Franklin Township for any amount of time and has become involved with their community knows what a special place the Eight Villages is. Over the past nearly seven years, we have documented that specialness in the form of neighbors helping neighbors through times of trouble and heartbreak.

And that’s what’s happening now. Franklin is coming together to help those in need, whether it’s donating food and money to the Franklin Food Bank, or the Residents Helping Residents group – which, as of this writing, has more than 100 volunteers – which aims to help the aged and infirm get groceries and other necessities, or our Franklin Police Department’s PBA Local 154 gathering donations of meals for health care workers at local hospitals.

That’s not an inclusive list, of course. There are other groups such as F.L.A.G. Somerset that have formed to help give hope to victims, survivors and caretakers of those affected by this disease.

Franklin Township has the largest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in Somerset County, not surprising given that the township is the largest municipality in the county.

What makes that even scarier is the speed in which the disease seems to be making its way through our community; more than 300 new cases were recorded in the first 10 days of April and we were pushing 1,000 by the end of the month. That is most likely a function of increased testing, but it’s unnerving, nevertheless.

And even in the face of that, as we are bombarded daily with fresh numbers of confirmed cases and deaths, even as the burden grows larger, still we persevere, to borrow a phrase.

We persevere because even though we are mandated to isolate, we know that we will not get through this on our own.

We know that it’s only by coming together, even if figuratively, to help our neighbors, that we will help ourselves and emerge from this pandemic.

So take heart, Franklin. We have some dark days coming, but we all have our individual lights that, brought together, will cut through that darkness.

We are all Warriors, and we will emerge from this.

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