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A new beginning

By Jon Ward

Like everyone else in Suffolk and around the country, I am affected by COVID-19. But instead of looking at it with all of the “doom and gloom” that you hear daily from the media, I am taking a slightly different approach.

I have recently joined Facebook and have been regularly acquiring friends. I have been extremely pleased in so many of the positive comments and remarks that I have come across. There are all kinds of stories of people helping people and coming together in a time of need. It would be nice if this happened all the time, as it makes for stronger families and communities.

There are still a lot of people hurting and suffering all around us. We have a lot of folks out of work with no income wondering how to cover their daily cost of living. This got me to thinking about what President Trump and the members of Congress recently did for our country by passing the stimulus bill and allocating up to $1,200 for each adult that qualified. However, as good as that money will be for all of the people suffering, it will not be enough to keep them afloat for long. For all of the people that really know me, they know that I am a firm believer that the government should be there to do things to help out its people and truly govern them without becoming like a big brother and legislating us to the point that we lose our rights! In these times, however, we do need to do some rather radical things to really help out our citizens. It is time for the government to go beyond what it has already done and hit the pause button until such time as things are safe for us to get back to normal.

In order for all Americans, not just us in Suffolk, to have a shot at really being able to recover from this crisis, the government needs to pass a bill that will suspend all interest and other charges on every form of credit. All mortgages and credit cards would be at zero interest so people would not go into extreme debt for not being able to pay due to being out of work or having little work. Put an end to all late fees and frivolous charges that creditors try to charge. Suspend all trading on the stock market so retired people don’t need to worry about losing their retirement and investments over the short term. Suspend or at the very least, prorate your personal property taxes as well as all interest and fees, and have car insurance companies refund all or part of your premiums since most people cannot leave their house anyway. Let our government work for us in this time of need.

My fear is that if our government does not take some drastic actions to really help out all Americans, we are going to see a record number of bankruptcies and be headed for either a bad recession, or worse, another depression. All of this can be avoided if our government will continue to work together for the greater good of all Americans!

Regardless of what our government does, don’t look at this virus as the end of life as you knew it; look at it as a new beginning. Take this time to enjoy your family and appreciate what is really important in life. Truly reflect on what you really need and what you don’t. Take that time with your children that you haven’t had in the past and teach them the things that they really need in life — things like love, respect, caring, empathy, and of course how to change the oil in a car! Pay attention to your spouse and reconnect. Come together as a couple and be stronger for it. Look in on your neighbors (while social distancing of course) and see if you can help them. Do a good deed daily and ask the same of others, even if that deed is only an uplifting text or email.

We will all get through this time together.

Jon Ward is a Suffolk resident. Email him at Jon1974Ward@aol.com.