“These are the times that try men’s souls.” Thomas Paine wrote this opening line for an essay in December 1776, and these words are as relevant to current events today as they were during the American Revolution.
The world as we knew it ended abruptly for us in mid-March when we were asked to stay at home and hopefully mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Schools closed, and teachers were asked to teach remotely using electronic devices. We were sent home from our places of work, and we were asked to work remotely. Businesses were required to close their doors or alter their business model. People became sick, some recovered, and unfortunately some died. Yes, our world has changed.
As this virus has ravaged our lives and lifestyles, I have been increasingly impressed at how each of us adapt to these changes in our own way. We are patient with grocery store lines, and lack of product. We support local restaurants that struggle to keep their doors open. We check on our neighbors’ well-being. We attend church services through virtual broadcasts. We make and wear masks. These are just a few of the ways our lives have changed in order to stop this virus. Then there are the health care people on the front line, working with the sick and risking their lives to uphold their medical oath. These are our true heroes today.
I’d like to list a few ways that we can help during this fragile period of time.
Please consider supporting the Anne Arundel County Food Bank. The County Food Bank now has a Right Away Storage trailer at the following county parks: Quiet Waters, Kinder Farm, Downs and Fort Smallwood. You may donate only non-perishable items at these locations. Needed items include N-95 respirator masks, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, pet food, dry goods, and wet wipes. The Anne Arundel County Food Bank is also taking monetary donations. You can also donate your time to help at a food bank location. Information on ways to donate can easily found by going to www.aafoodbank.org.
Blood supplies are dangerously low. Anne Arundel Medical Center has a blood donor center as well as a bloodmobile. Please consider going into their center to donate blood, or maybe hosting a bloodmobile event. You will find information by going to https://aahs.org/blood-donor-center.
Please take the time to take the Census online. You can do so by going to www.census.gov. The Census has not been canceled due to the virus, so disregard any rumors you may have heard. It is very important to your state and county that you are counted. The process only takes a few minutes.
I’m here to support the citizens of District 33 as best I can with resources that are available through my office. If you have any needs or concerns that you are having difficulty solving, please email me at Edward.Reilly@senate.state.md.us. As the current expression goes, “We are in this together,” and I am here to help get you through this period of time as best I can. It’s impossible for me to thank you all personally, but I am very thankful for how each of you is handling the trials that have jolted your lives. We do not know the outcome of this virus and quarantine, but please continue to do what Governor Hogan is asking of all of us. This too shall pass, and there will be better days ahead.