As COVID spreads schools, churches, governments cope

By Shelby Stewart
Staff Writer
Goodrich High School Principal Michael Baszler characterized the current COVID-19 pandemic as an ‘uncommon time.’
“When the students left on Friday (March 13), there was no excitement, no fear, just a level of uncertainty,” said Baszler. “I feel for our seniors, they have lost a part of their journey which they may not be unable to get back. I overheard one student say, ‘I may lose a lot because of this, but if saves a life, or prevents someone from getting sick, we’ll do our part.’”
Baszler’s observations of high school students leaving were due to the COVID-19. In just a little over a week, almost all professional sports have been postponed, schools across the nation are closed, colleges are working online, adults are having to work from home and store shelves have been emptied.
According to the Center for Disease Control, the virus was found in people originally in Wuhan, China. While this strain of virus, SARS CoV-2, was typically found in bats, it is not unheard of for these types of viruses to mutate and infect people. May of those infected in the beginning had some link to live seafood and animal markets, which suggested an animal to person spread. As the virus progressed, it was noted that it was now spreading person to person.
As of press time, there were 7,038 cases in the US, with 97 deaths. World wide there have been around 8,000 deaths.
“We are not requiring lessons and the grade book is frozen,” said Baszler. “We are treating the time off as an extended break. It’s a stressful time for the school community, we want them to focus on their well being.”
A concern are the MSTEP, PSAT and SAT standardize tests set for April 14 at Goodrich.
“A few states have already canceled the state testing,” he said. “Right now we are just not sure how much longer this is going to go on. The students just can’t come back and be expected to sit down to these tests.”
Optional educational resources will be made available to Goodrich families. Should the shutdown last longer than originally indicated, the district team will revisit our plan at that time, he added.
While the state has closed all schools until April 6, Brandon Superintendent Dr. Matt Outlaw is encouraging students to keep learning.
“Most districts, including Brandon, are providing learning opportunities for students at home,” he said. “Routine and schedules are great things for everyone, especially young people. Be careful not to spend too much time on technology and read, read, read. Also, I would encourage people to take the recommendations from the government officials seriously.”
While there is currently no plan for making up days or what will happen when school resumes, Outlaw says the legislature is discussing options.
Jon Grimshaw, pastor at Lakeview Community Church, 10023 S State Road, Goodrich expressed some thought regarding the anxiety today with the COVID-19.
“These are really uncertain times,” said Grimshaw. “As we’ve watched the world around us slow down to almost a complete stop, many find themselves dealing with anxious thoughts. We’ve all watched as people reacted to their fears, and some in alarming ways. For this reason, I believe it’s important at a time such as this, that we try to gain some perspective, and direct our attention and efforts away from the thoughts that feed our anxiety. What if our anxious thoughts were replaced with gratitude for our blessings? What if we focused on ways to help our families, neighbors, and community through the challenges of this pandemic, rather than just ‘waiting for the next shoe to fall?’”
Lt. Greg Glover, Oakland County Sheriff Office Brandon Substation reported the first week has been calm.
“We have not been real busy so far,” said Glover. “We do foresee it could be busy with domestic violence calls becoming more frequent. People are home working and spending a lot more time with each other than during a regular day. Often the youth at home can find things to do to self motivate themselves.”
Residents can still stop by the substation is still manned 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

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