Our ‘new normal’ during COVID-19

Kim Brooks
Babbling Brooks Column
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     Are we sick and tired of hearing the phrase “new normal?”

     We’re living in a new normal. Life, as we know it, is a new normal. We’re all getting used to a new normal. Enough already!

     But, it’s really true.

     Events have been cancelled or modified or rescheduled. Stores, restaurants, and bars may be open, but not fully. While the governor allowed these establishments to open at 100 percent, many cannot abide by that while also social distancing inside.

     And now a decision regarding how school will start in August looms over us. Will students and teachers be back inside the classrooms full-time? Will the school ask students and staff to wear facemasks? How will it all work?

     So many “new normals.”

     COVID-19 cases are up in many of the southern states and California. Iowa needs to try hard to keep cases at a minimum here so we don’t see our state closing businesses again. That could be devastating for those business owners.

     Our “new normal” is wearing facemasks; practicing social distancing; eliminating the frequency at which we gathering with large groups, especially indoors; staying home when sick; basically just controlling the spread of COVID-19.

     While the governor has opened things up across the state, that doesn’t necessarily mean we all have to forget the virus is still out there. People are still sick, people are still hospitalized, people are still contracting COVID-19.

     We still need to be vigilant about our actions and the decisions we make.

     On another note, Jones County Public Health and Emergency Management both deserve a huge pat on the back for the ways in which the department staff has been keeping the public abreast of the local COVID-19 situation. Both department heads, Jenna Lovaas and Brenda Leonard, have provided weekly updates during the board of supervisor meetings (early on twice a week).

     Leonard has ordered and provided PPE for Jones Regional Medical Center, long-term care facilities, doctors offices, dentists, law enforcement and emergency medical personnel since the start of the virus crisis.

     Both departments, along with Senior Dining and JETS, have worked to provide meals for those in the vulnerable population who’ve remained sheltered at home.

     Now, Lovaas and her staff have been working with county school officials regarding their openings in August for the new school year.

     Yes, we live in a rural county compared to those counties with larger populations that have experienced more COVID-19 cases, but Jones County was still and continues to be impacted by the virus.

     So bravo to Leonard and Lovaas and their departmental staff who have been working hard to get the information out the public. They’ve also answered so many of my questions throughout this four-month period. All in an effort to relay the news about the pandemic to the masses.


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