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Editorial: 'Remember who we were before COVID'


August 1, 2020

Our great Tehachapi Valley has been through quite a bit this year. And yes, it’s not over.

High school and college graduations cancelled, student promotions cancelled, businesses closing, schools closing, people losing their jobs, young loves having to postpone their weddings, futures put on hold. It’s tough to say the least.

Our personal health as well as our financial health are at risk in these times. I find this is the time when we need each other most.

Since becoming a full time resident of the Tehachapi area, I’ve grown to love everything about this community. The beauty of the landscape, the four seasons we have and of course, the people.

Sure we don’t always agree on the color of the sky, but when our neighbors need us, we’re there. It doesn’t matter if the sky is orange or green, we come together.

I’m missing that right now. There’s a strangeness hovering over that is fear to some, frustration to others. We all have our own stories, our own struggles and our own concerns. We all walk in different shoes.

The kind smiles have turned to scolding’s over someone standing too close or not wearing a mask. People who are fortunate enough not to have to work are telling others who do have to work, what to do and how they should do it. It doesn’t work that way. Some people have no choice but to work. That doesn’t mean they are not concerned for their health or yours, it is something they have to do to survive. Others have had to close their businesses, not knowing if they will come out of this time intact. Maybe they will never reopen. Restaurants are having to spend money to make money in these times to keep their staff and clients safe. It’s sad when a restaurant has to post a sign asking the patrons not to be rude to the servers, that they are doing the best they can with limited outdoor seating.

We’ve had protests on our streets and little signs with sayings posted here and there. Everyone has the right to protest and free speech. Remember though, that Tehachapi is not a big city, we have all walks of life from different generations living here. Maybe some were surprised to see the subjects of the protest. It’s not a common site, and if they have lived here long, definitely not.

Some people read articles and think they are the authority on subjects. For every article that person reads, there is someone else who reads the opposite and thinks they are the authority. We all need to do our research and decide what we believe. What is good for some, may not be good for others. We don’t need to be policing each other. We have masks police, distance police, the outdoor food police, the list could go on and on.

Complaints about the fireworks were sad to see. Family and friends were gathered before we were notified, the fireworks didn’t cause case increase. I personally needed that shot in the arm of the 4th of July going on as usual, not for the sparkly colors, but to know that LIFE wasn’t being cancelled. We all need a little normalcy when we can get it. Facebook friends are becoming ugly to each other over who is right and who is wrong, fingers pointing in all directions, it’s maddening.

We need to change that now before it’s too late. Before we lose our sense of community.

Let’s think before we speak, bite our tongues every now and then instead of being quick to judge others. We are all either scared, frustrated or both and I’m sure we’re all very tired of this, but we need to make that move forward.

I personally do not like wearing masks. When making deliveries for my company, I am required to wear one. I have no issue with that. When I go shopping, if the store I’m entering requires a mask, I will put it on. To wear a mask in and out for 5 to 10 minutes is doable. If wearing a mask will make my neighbor feel more comfortable, then I will wear it. I’m not wearing it thinking that my rights are being infringed on, I’m wearing it for my neighbor and I proudly display the American flag on my mask.

Everyone is trying their best, but I know we can do better. Here’s something to try: Stop watching the news for a few days, take a break from social media. We don’t all need to be keyboard warriors. I did it and loved it! You’ll be amazed at how good you’ll feel.

Remember who we were before COVID-19. When it’s gone, we’ll all still be living together on the mountain.

Lydia Chaney

President – Greater Tehachapi Economic Development Council

Owner at South Street Digital, Inc.


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