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Rich Paulsen - What’s Up

‘Hanging in there’

The COVID-19 bug has turned everyone’s world upside down over the last few weeks. I’ve witnessed things that I don’t think I would have ever thought possible. I didn’t know the earth could be this silent. The general hustle and noise is now quiet due to the a number of people not out and about. My office faces Adams street. Usually I hear all the cars and folks going down the street. Now it is almost complete silence. I live near Highway 25 and traffic is probably about 25% off what it usually is.

The social aspect has sure taken a hit. No large groups and no meetings. I really do miss all my daily appointments at the YMCA, Rotary meetings and socializing at local restaurants. I know the newer generation probably texts or tweets all their friends. But I’m old fashioned and I enjoy talking to people face to face. Plus there are also no people allowed in the building and I miss the usual banter with the local auctioneers and many of our regular visitors.

The day-to-day ups and downs of this outbreak seem kind of surreal in some ways, like one those thriller movies you see in the theater.
Most people seem to be handling the situation pretty well. Probably like’re glad to talk to someone even if it’s more than six feet away. Which leads me to talk about the newest term of the year: “social distancing.” Even on the walking trail, I and everyone else practiced social distancing. Even with the few number of people we have left in the office we practice “social distancing.” But I have read that it has helped reduce the spread of the disease in many places.

Hopefully the “brain trust” in Washington D.C. will get the stimulus bill passed and into the hands of those that need it. I have talked to several local small businesses. Some could probably make it for a couple of months, but after that I think things will get pretty shaky about going on. Some businesses will not make it over one month. I encourage people to support and shop local as much as they can.

Kind of a curious observation is the number of out-of-county cars coming to shop here. Lots of Polk County cars from Des Moines hitting our area stores. I’m guessing the competition for toilet paper is pretty tough in the big city! I had my renter who lives in a small town in Arizona that is 100 miles from Phoenix mention the same thing is happening in his area. The big city folks hitting the small towns for supplies!

As soon as all of us get out of this COVID-19 “funk,” we look to get the country up and going again. My crystal ball isn’t so good about figuring out when this “funk” will subside. I’m hoping by the end of May the earth will return to somewhere around normal.
So thanks for hanging in there with us. Us Americans have a hearty spirit and great determination.

We look to cover what is going on while all this “craziness” is going on. So if you have some good stories of people helping people drop me an e-mail at We want to report on the good things going on in the area. Stay safe and keep practicing your “social distancing.”

Thought for the week

“What we call despair is often only the painful eagerness of unfed hope.” -George Eliot

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