It feels like we’ve been COVID-19 captives for a really, really long time and we have. It’s been at least 14 weeks as June yields to July and our beloved Warren Fourth of July parade and celebration has long been canceled.

Our own COVID-19 numbers are steady with outbreaks here and there. Compared to the rest of the country -- Texas, Arizona, South Carolina, Florida and others -- things seem relatively stable in Vermont. But we know that that can change in a minute. Or in 15 minutes – the length of time you need to be exposed to and talking to someone with COVID-19 to get infected.

The Legislature has adjourned after passing bills that are designed to provide financial relief to every sector of Vermont’s economy. But don’t count those chickens before they’re hatched. As Governor Phil Scott notes frequently no one is going to get out of this whole.

Legislators and the governor have been clear that the amount of money available won’t meet everyone’s needs. It is unclear if the federal government is going to be sending more COVID-19 relief to states.  And now the Vermont Legislature has adjourned until mid-August.

For us, as a community, that means we need to be hypervigilant about our health, but also about taking care of each other and supporting our local businesses.

Now, more than ever, make the most concerted effort possible to buy locally. Skip the ease of Amazon shopping and keep your dollars here. Don’t spend two hours and two gallons of gas to drive to Costco and the other big box stores in Chittenden County because you can be certain that residents of Chittenden County aren’t going to be coming here to shop at our businesses – other than our restaurants.

We are fortunate to have a strong base of second-home owners as part of our community who can help our businesses weather this crisis. But it’s really going to come down to each and every one of us making the conscious choice to support each other. There’s no deus ex machina rescue coming to save us. We’re going to have to do it ourselves.

Enjoy Independence Day, stay safe, wash your hands and shop locally!