There are many issues connected to the spread of the coronavirus outbreak affecting people in Vinton County as well as around the nation and world. There have been many occasions when both Vinton Countians and Americans have been through tough times and pulled through just fine -- and we will again.

On the Vinton County front, finding solutions to tough problems is nothing new. In my 25 years-plus in the local media, I think my favorite times in Vinton County come when people pull together for a common cause. People have banded together and found solutions for problems such as: Looking for a high school, searching for a grocery store, and working to rebuild the Lake Hope Lodge, the schools and fire departments. Now, county officials are looking for a new Sheriff’s Office location.

County residents need to pull together again. This time, it is not to get something, but instead to get rid of one of the most serious problems which has faced this area for many years.

The same is true on the national level.  The American medical community has been a shining example of fighting conditions that harm us. I think President Trump and America’s biggest universities, including Ohio State, will pull together and find a cure for the COVID-19 virus. Many horrible diseases already have been cured.  According to insider.com, conditions such as: “Polio, measles, and rubella, have all been mostly eliminated in the United States.  Smallpox has also been eradicated worldwide.

Many other crisis situations have been faced by our nation as well.

Many of us can remember the Great Recession which hit in 2008 and the Attack on America in 2001. In both instances, the federal government stepped up and did more. We have withstood a real-estate crisis, our Defense Department (the Pentagon) and New York City being attacked, and high unemployment at times.

Republican Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump and Democrat President Barack Obama may be different in their approaches, but they all stepped up when the bell rang.

I think the coming federal-stimulus package will help the American economy. President Trump and the entire U.S. Congress should be congratulated for putting politics aside and responding to a national crisis.

There is another side to this crisis that cannot be fixed. It is the effects on those once-in-a-lifetime activities, accomplishments, and memories.

Among those upcoming events which come to mind are all the graduation programs, which I hope will be able to happen. I also hope the Vinton County High School (VCHS) senior athletes can make their memories of their final season of playing before the home fans before the school year ends. Also, those memories are part of the wonder years of childhood and cannot be extended. VCHS Athletic Director Matt Combs told The Telegram, “Unlike college players, high school athletes do not have a redshirt year and cannot regain something if it is lost.”

Now, it appears as if the rest of the post-season winter sports tournaments are lost and probably the spring sports season will be lost. I hope if those memories are lost, local students will have other good ones to draw from in their lives. The same is true for those students in the choirs, bands, and the plays who may not get a chance to perform because of the crisis.

Whatever the case, we will pull through and come out with good solutions. Our nation is strong, has excellent research institutions and will pull through this virus.  I think the best way to plan for the future, is to see what we have done successfully in the past.  When we do that and overcome this crisis, both Vinton County citizens and all Americans can be proud.