Every day, as we all go about trying to live our lives as normally as possible, we should be proud to be Ohioans. Times are stressful, to say the least, and Buckeyes are rising to the occasion. Case in point: area restaurants. The social distancing and masking is inspiring. As we still enjoy the freedom of going out to eat, restaurant owners have gone above and beyond the call of duty to keep us healthy, promote our economy and keep their businesses going at great sacrifice. Drive by any main street, and you’ll see newly created patios and even alley dining. These changes are keeping restaurants viable (or at least maintaining some profitability until a vaccine is found) and lets patrons feel “normal” again.

Businesses are also making the herculean effort to keep customers safe. Locally owned businesses and chains alike, even before masks were mandated, had their employees set an example by pulling on masks and carefully maintaining distance while still helping customers. We feel safer making quick trips to our locally owned hardware stores, pet stores and clothing and accessory stores. We are talking to you, the Ace Hardware in Rocky River and Chelsea Consignments in Westlake and the new Avon Brewing Company Presents ZZ’s Big Top in Avon!

We are also proud of how, as a community, the Westshore is reaching out to its fellow Northeast Ohioans and making sure everyone is OK. As noted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “taking care of your friends and your family can be a stress reliever, but it should be balanced with care for yourself. Helping others cope with their stress, such as by providing social support, can also make your community stronger. During times of increased social distancing, people can still maintain social connections and care for their mental health. Phone calls or video chats can help you and your loved ones feel socially connected, less lonely, or isolated.”

Making quick trips to restaurants and stores are ways of maintaining our mental health. Others include taking care of your body, getting plenty of sleep, eating well-balanced meals and connecting with others and the faith community.

We are in this together and together we will emerge healthy.

We are proud Ohioans and we care about each other. Pat yourself on your back and do an “air” high-five with a relative. And keep soldiering on.

We can do this!

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