I am tired, are you? It seems like every conversation, news story, email and webinar somehow involves COVID-19. The subject might be about antibodies, vaccines, masks, testing, deaths, hospitalization, social distancing or sanitization. It truly becomes mentally and physically exhausting to think so hard about how we live our daily lives. So many say, “I just can’t wait for this to go away. I’m so over it!” And while I agree with those statements, I recognize the reality is this will likely never go away and our lives will forever be changed as we adjust to the changing conditions.
Businesses are feeling the same way. They are tired of reduced numbers of customers, supply chain disruptions, managing different ways of doing business (maybe curbside service, employee screening or online services) and accommodating and adjusting to the changing CDC guidelines. I could not be prouder of how our business community has adjusted. Several businesses still have stringent sanitization schedules, employee screening processes and customer safety guidelines. Employee and customer safety in Yankton have been and will continue to be a priority.
But as much as we want this to be over, it will continue for months to come. So how do we deal with the COVID fatigue many are feeling and continue to stimulate the local economy?
• Physical Exercise — We have so many great outdoor spaces to utilize or check out gyms that are open for business with increased sanitization and safety precautions. Enjoy a walk around the neighborhood and appreciate the green grass and blossoming flowers.
• Reduce Stress — Everyone has their own way of reducing stress but consider trying something new. Experience yoga, cook a new recipe, phone a friend or sit out by the lake or river; all of these are ways to appreciate the moment and relax. Speaking with a mental health practitioner is another good option.
• Shift your mindset — You cannot fix what is happening around you, but you can control how you react to it. Choose happiness and gratitude.
• Limit watching news coverage — If you are feeling overwhelmed, limit the time you spend on social media or watching the news. For every recommendation or guideline, you can find a contradictory article or story. Allow yourself to take a time-out from the news and enjoy a good movie or book.
• Focus on the good — If you look around you, there is so much to appreciate. No matter how challenging it gets, there is always something you can be grateful for. As a result of COVID, families seem to be eating more meals together, parents have found more time with their children, and people are exploring different attractions in the Yankton region.
There really is a lot of good in the world, especially in Yankton. While a few businesses recently closed, new ones are opening. Karibe Fusion and Carrie’s Cupcakes & Bakery are new businesses on Broadway and in the downtown. Dairy Queen is remodeling the former Bonanza building and NorthWestern Energy has broken ground at their new location. Unfortunately, some businesses are continuing with furloughs and layoffs, while others such as HSC, 5 Star Call Center, KPI, American Foods, Hydro and Parker Hannifin among others are still hiring. Greater Yankton Living in collaboration with the SD Department of Labor and Riverfront Broadcasting recently held their first virtual job fair which allowed 100’s of people the opportunity to explore in a different way the various jobs in the region. The Chart Your Career program to train certified nursing assistants is in its last cohort of students to reach the goal of 100 certified CNA’s. RTEC has several offerings to enhance your skills while you may be making a career shift. The Yankton economy has always been diverse, which is appreciated in times like this to help maintain stability.
Our local economy is impacted by many factors so as we think about what’s to come, please continue to exhibit patience and tolerance with local leadership as they thoughtfully consider options and make decisions. Our local schools, including Mount Marty University, look forward to welcoming students back into the classrooms in the safest way possible. There is no one right answer to any of the situations we are encountering during the pandemic which makes it impossible to make everyone happy. It is valuable to look at situations from others’ points of view and be empathetic rather than digging in your proverbial heels and needing to “be right.”
YAPG continues to work closely with local leaders, the Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau on COVID-19 resources and local business support. We completed a community survey and business survey and welcome the ongoing communication with the businesses and citizens. In closing, I respectfully ask you consider doing the following 3 things: shop local (retail and restaurants need you), continue to practice safety measures and reach out to others and provide assistance and support as appropriate. I genuinely believe in #YanktonStrongerTogether.