COVID guide: Visualizing a new Middlebury in 2021

Let’s speak of a vision. As we sit mired in all things COVID, it may be difficult to envision Middlebury in 2021. But let’s look past the pandemic to a place we’d all rather be. As we course through 2021 with a re-invigorated spirit, we won’t accept masking, zoom meetings and social distancing as the “new normal.” The new normal we see will be a brand-new downtown, exciting new technology to reduce energy consumption, the resumption of commerce and economic  stability. Medical science will have by then reduced COVID to a has-been, perhaps a seasonal annoyance. Imagine the resumption of spring time weddings, gatherings of families and friends for celebrations or “just because;” our downtown restaurants serving at capacity, Rotary meetings at Rosie’s — in person!
We’ll get there. In the interim we must all work to reduce the impact of COVID on us personally, professionally and economically. We want to prevent COVID related trauma  being carried forward to drag us down. So the town is working in consortium with the College, Porter Hospital, the Health Department, the schools, The Addison Independent, and many others to reinforce the need to starve this disease into oblivion. This will require participation from us all — social distancing,  masking, washing hands and good mask maintenance. If you have symptoms — stay home. Notify your health care provider; resources are available on-line at Vermont Department of Health, the CDC, and many other agencies. If you can’t get online, call 2-1-1. Help and assistance is out there. It will take maximum effort to overcome this disease and get us to that vision we have for 2021.
Thomas Hanley is Middlebury’s Emergency Management Director & Chief of Police.

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