On Thursday, March 12, 2020, Governor Mike DeWine announced that all K-12 Ohio schools would be closed for the next three weeks. In Ohio, that was the first major action taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19. What began in Wuhan, China has spread to nearly the globe, making the virus categorized as a pandemic. While some have panicked, and others call it a hoax, the reality is that life has dramatically changed almost daily.
Many small businesses have temporarily closed their doors, others are changing their methods to reach people, schools are trying to figure out how to continue classes online as quickly as possible. With all the chaos, there have been many bright sides to come out.
Tiffin City Schools are offering sack lunches and breakfasts for PreK-12 at 16 drop sites throughout the city. Little Hugo’s, a local ice cream stand, is giving free lunches to children in Tiffin. Likewise, Sauced in New Reigel is also offering free lunches to children. This response is for the families that rely on free or reduced lunches to feed their kids throughout the week.
Both Columbia Gas and American Electric Power have announced postponing shut-offs and lower payment plans amid the unknown job security. Spectrum is offering free broadband to students in need of internet access as most schools are turning to online options. A close neighbor, Bascom Communications, has set up free WiFi for students and professionals without internet access at PJ’s Brickhouse in Bascom.
Healthy locals are offering to go shopping and run errands for elderly residents who are the most at-risk. Students and others now out of work are offering child care for the parents who are still working.
Churches are live-streaming services to ensure no one feels guilty for staying home. Teachers are preparing ways to continue classes online. Businesses are finding ways for employees to continue work from home. The willingness to adapt is what makes Tiffin, and any other community, strong enough to withstand the most trivial times.
We are seeing a community that in times of crisis, strives to help those who need it. No child should be hungry because schools are closed. No person should be without because they are safest at home. Countless communities have responded with grace and compassion amid trying times and we are so blessed to be part of one.