COVID-19 makes its mark on the Ohio Valley | News, sports, jobs
COVID-19 makes its mark on the Ohio Valley |  News, sports, jobs

COVID-19 makes its mark on the Ohio Valley | News, sports, jobs

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – More “normal” everyday life resumes for many residents in the area after the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it was a struggle to deal with the risk and confusion, and it seems no one was left unchanged.

“I think we’ve come a long way in two years,” Jim Morrison of York Township said. “I do not know if we are better or worse yet. I’m waiting to see.… I thought it was a little scary when it started, all the things you heard about how fast it grew. It started to slow down. “then it would pick up again in the fall or it would get cold compared to when it was hot. I’ve learned to live with it myself. I know a lot of people had problems with it.”

He also noted the stress about jobs and livelihoods that many experienced.

“I think we’ll beat it. My concern would be COVID coming in from other nations, with what’s happening to Ukraine and this conflict with Russia. If you take 3 million people and start mixing around the world, a lot of things come up, ” said Morrison.

Pultney Township Trustee Frank Shaffer said his township workers mostly stayed healthy and on the job, but other townships had a hard time maintaining operations.

“Whatever the situation, I try to stay motivated and do what I have to do on roads and bridges,” he said. “It was a bit of a struggle to try to hold meetings.… You’re going to do more things on the computer and not face to face like we used to.”

He also said communities are looking at more opportunities for aid and partnerships.

“I’m looking for things to get better,” he said. “We will discover that we can do more by working together.”

Jeremy Greenwood, now director of security and service for the city of St. Clairsville, ran an architectural firm when the pandemic hit. The sudden lack of stability is still fresh in his mind.

“Everything went like off track, and every project stopped,” he said, adding that he quickly found it difficult to accomplish many projects. “Nobody knew anything. Nobody knew how it was spread.… The ability of everything to just shut down that way was a little wild.”

Together with other employees in St. In Clairsville, he faced a new set of problems keeping the lights on and the water running as he took up his current position in the city. The goals included finding COVID test kits for workers and keeping the workforce healthy. City administrators considered procedures, including isolating workers who might have had contact with an infected person. Dismissals in emergencies were the order of the day.

“We were flexible and tried to see what was available and what we could do,” said Greenwood. “If we had one whole department closed down, depending on which department, we might be able to function. … If some of our operators went down… there are other incidents where we will have to bring people in. … Many people had no symptoms. There are some who had symptoms and some who did not. “

He praised Mayor Kathryn Thalman for being proactive in achieving tests.

St. Clairsville City Council meetings for several months were held by telephone. In the future, Greenwood speculated that state laws could change to allow virtual participation of elected officials.

Senior citizens in the area were also vulnerable to the virus, and they looked after their physical, mental and emotional health when Belmont County’s senior centers closed for about a year.

At St. Clairsville Senior Center soon saw city resident Jack Irwin the reality of the virus.

“It did not affect me personally or my family around me. It seemed far away and I was a little safe, so suddenly someone was close, their husband suddenly came down with it and he was young and healthy, so it shocked me “In a way to reality. It got a little scary at the time because he was in a serious condition and almost died.” said Irwin.

“It seems that the vaccines make you feel much safer. Everyone seems to be vaccinated. You feel safe around everyone. It’s good to see the masks go,” he said. said Irwin.

The losses from those days will continue to be felt.

“My husband did not die of COVID, he died of a heart attack. I was married for 64 years, Sally Myers from St. The Clairsville area said of her husband, Robert Myers. “My husband had to go to the hospital… and I could not visit him. It’s sad I could not go and talk to him. “

She said today would mark their 66th wedding anniversary.

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