There's no sugar-coating it. Massachusetts has been slammed by the COVID-19 virus. We're third behind New York and New Jersey in terms of COVID-19 cases. Our Governor and state health officials are working tirelessly to respond and to keep us all as safe as possible. And there's no denying that this is producing major cases of cabin fever that are trying everyone's patience. And then there's the very real impact on our economy.
But as we noted last month, there can be a "silver lining" as the old song our grandparents knew said. Think about it. They endured the decade long Great Depression and then the hardships of World War II. Those of us who were lucky enough to grow up around these members of the Greatest Generation may have a slightly different perspective on what's happening today. And will find strength and encouragement in their experiences.
Let's thank our local heroes
There are a myriad of people right in our local area who are making it possible for all of us to stay home in safety. First and foremost are all the healthcare workers in our hospitals and nursing homes. They have been under incredible stress from fighting for our friends and neighbors stricken by COVID-19. Then there are our first responders... our police, fire and EMS. And our utility workers keeping our power and communications going despite our crazy spring storms. And the grocery clerks, delivery drivers, postal workers, food service employees, and more.
How does a community say thank you? Some businesses are taking donations to provide free food or coffee for these workers. Maybe you can order a meal or two to be delivered to a friend or neighbor as a thank you for what they are doing under difficult conditions. Perhaps there is a volunteer effort through your church or civic organization to help provide meals and other necessities to those who need them. Many people who sew are making masks to help everyone comply with the order from the public health department.
And don't forget the toll that social isolation takes on those who live alone. Make an effort to call or text family, friends and neighbors just to say "Hi. How are you doing? Anything you need?" Our seniors are particularly vulnerable. And those who suffer from depression and anxiety. Having your kids write notes and draw pictures to send to them can let them know you care and brighten their days.
The point is, we are not helpless. With a little imagination and creativity, we can do what we can to help out in some way. It all counts. It all matters.
There will be a new normal
"Eventually, every storm runs out of rain..."
This line is from a song co-written and recorded by Gary Allan, country music star. Renowned American poet, the late Dr. Maya Angelou, was asked in an interview what someone should do when they are downhearted and searching for a rainbow, but all they see is clouds. Here is her response."What I know is that it's going to get better. If it's bad, it might get worse, but I know it's going to get better. And you have to know that. There's a country song out there now, which I wish I had written, that says 'every storm runs out of rain.' I'd make a sign of that if I were you. Put that on your writing pad. No matter how dull and seemingly unpromising life is right now, it's going to change. It's going to get better. But you have to keep working."
While we have time on our hands, let's do some rethinking. What should we do differently when this ends? Whether it's family, business or career, this crisis has exposed the fact that we can do things differently. And some of those things may turn out to be better than what we were doing in the past. Let's work on that!
We're here for you. Our office door may be locked, but our people are working from home to take care of your insurance needs.
* The front entry lobby area
has a desk to pick up and
drop off material for handling.
- Please call 508-528-3310 and our receptionist will direct your call to the proper person for professional service.
- To maintain social distancing within our office for the safety of our employees our staff is operating on half day basis. We have an equal number of staffing in the morning and afternoon.
- Please email your service representative for faster service as we also have employees working remotely from home.
Please visit our website for a list of employee emails.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
DID YOU KNOW?
How can we find out about what's happening in Franklin?
The Town of Franklin has developed a COVID-19 portal. It is one place where you can go to find out information from the town, the public schools, the library, the recreation department, and senior center. There are also community resources and business resources and support, along with other useful information. It's your one source for local information during this time of crisis.
In addition, the Franklin Town Clerk is posting on their website. Here's what they have posted now:
Please contact the Clerk's Office for any vital requests. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will process them accordingly. We are no longer taking appointments for marriage intentions, per the Governor's order.
Dog licenses are POSTPONED
until June 1st. Payments can be made online or by dropping off a form and check in the white mailbox at the municipal building.
We've been working on our yard. Do we need a permit to burn the brush we've cut?
The Franklin Fire Department reminds everyone that open burning is only allowed until May 1st. Please note that obtaining a permit is not permission to burn on any specific day. You must call the Burning Permit Line (508) 553-5574 in between 9am and noon each day to see if burning is allowed.
How long is the state's stay at home order in force?
Gov. Charlie Baker on April 28th announced that the non-essential business closure order and stay-at-home advisory in Massachusetts have been extended through May 18 as coronavirus deaths continue to mount. The order and advisory, which were both slated to expire on May 4, have been extended by an additional two weeks.
Restaurants will still be permitted to offer takeout but all non-essential workers must work from home if possible. Gatherings of 10 or more people are also not permitted before May 18th.
Are we required to wear face masks?
Yes, the Franklin Board of Health has announced the following requirements:
"1) All employees of all essential businesses shall wear a face covering over their mouth and nose when interacting with the public and when the staff cannot maintain a safe social distance of six feet from any other co-worker. Nothing in this order shall require the use of a face covering by anyone for whom doing so would be contrary to his or her health or safety because of a medical condition.
2) All essential businesses shall post on their main entrance doors that the board of health is strongly advising people to wear face coverings upon entrance of an essential business.
This emergency order shall be effective beginning Wednesday, APRIL 29, 2020 AT 12:01AM and remain in effect until notice is given, pursuant to the Board of Health's judgement that the Public Health Emergency no longer exists."
As a small business owner, what resources are available to me?
The Town of Franklin offers the following link to provide information for businesses and employees who are bearing the brunt of COVID-19's devastating economic impact. Included are state and federal links to available programs and information.