COVID-19: Signs of the Times

The signs that declare our COVID-19 times are popping up everywhere across the greater-Holland area.

From digital billboards to handwritten notes taped to windows and doors, the signs reveal how dramatically the coronavirus is disrupting our daily lives in the wake of a Stay Home, Stay Safe order issued by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Some provisions of that executive order are posted as sign messages:

“Stay home, stay safe”—Ottawa Area Intermediate School District
“Please, wash your hands”—The Knickerbocker Theatre
“Keep at least 6 feet between yourself and others”—Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Ottawa Area Intermediate School District emphasizes the Stay Home, Stay Safe order issued by Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Businesses that normally would be advertising their services and products are now urging us to protect ourselves:

“Stay safe and healthy and good to one another”—Threads on 8th
“Be safe and stay strong Holland!”—Sandcastle for Kids

Threads on 8th adds a personal touch to its closing message: "Stay safe and healthy and good to one another!"
Dining-out options are limited to take-out and delivery:

“To-go orders only. No Dine In.”—Windmill Restaurant
“We’re open. Drive-thru only.”—Captain Sundae
“Take-out only. Please, no more than five people at a time and stay 6 feet apart.”—Big E’s Sports Grill

Petrino's Pizzeria switches from dine-in to take-out only.

Congregating in entertainment venues is not allowed:

“Sperry’s Movie House is taking extra precautions to keep everyone safe and well. At this time, we are temporarily closed.”
“Michael Carbonaro show postponed”—Holland Civic Center Place
The tulips will still bloom in May but not as part of the Tulip Time Festival, which has been canceled:
“We are sad to lock the doors to the public, but are exercising caution during this COVID-19 situation and, for the protection of our guests and staff, are temporarily closed to walk-ins.”—Tulip Time office

Anna's House restaurant offers some hope during difficult times.

Weekly church gatherings have been curtailed, although some churches offer an on-line option for worshippers:

 “All gatherings paused. Join us online.”—Central Wesleyan Church
“Stay home, stay healthy, stay alive!”—West Olive Christian Reformed Church
“Due to the health concerns of COVID-19, the church building will be closed until further notice.” Christ Memorial Church

Dollar General limits the number of customers.
Usually accessible public buildings are blocked from entry:

“Due to the Governor’s executive order, this building is closed.”—Holland City Hall.
“No visitors, by executive order from the Governor of Michigan (exceptions for pediatric and obstetric patients).”—Holland Hospital
“Book return closed due to shelter in place executive order. Library material due dates will be extended for the duration of the library’s closure with no additional overdue fines.”—Herrick District Library
Herrick District Library eliminates book returns but with no additional overdue fines.

Retail outlets are altering their policy for returns and exchanges, while others are offering curbside pick-up:

“Out of abundance of caution for both guests and team members, effective immediately, all returns and exchanges will be suspended.”—Target
“Stop here for contactless curbside pick-up. You order on-line. We deliver to your car.”—Best Buy

With a few exceptions, Holland Hospital prohibits visitors from entering the facility.
Medical offices are limiting patient visits:

“If you are coughing, it is best to reschedule your appointment.”—Destiny Dental

LPC Nails offers a blessing for the community.
In-person pet adoptions have been modified:
“Adoptions and visits by appointment only.”—Harbor Humane Society

Culver's offers drive-thru service after closing dining room.
Hair grooming by professionals is taking a hit:
“For the health and well-being of our clients and team members, we are temporarily closed due to COVID-19.”—Sports Clips Haircuts

Consumers Credit Union restricts business to drive-thru service.

Personal banking is confined to drive-thru service:

“Lobbies closed.”—Consumers Credit Union

Even non-profit organizations are altering their routines:

“Due to COVID-19 health concerns and CDC recommendations on large gatherings and proximity, the Family Store will temporarily be closed (the facility also quit accepting donated items).”—The Salvation Army

Businesses, such as New Holland Brewing and Coppercraft Distillery, have altered their production facilities to produce hand sanitizer for donation to providers of health care and emergency services:

“Sanitizer available. Clean hands are safe hands! Cheers!”— New Holland Brewing 

New Holland Brewing shifts production to make needed hand sanitizer.
Some businesses added personal touches to their signs:

“Wishing you strength, peace of mind and good health through this challenging time.”—Cherry Republic
“Our hearts go out to everyone affected during this time.”—Harbor Wear

Other businesses suggest we trust in our faith to see us through these difficult times:

“Ecclesiastes 3 says ´There is a time for everything and a season for every activity, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance. ´ We are subject to times and seasons over which we have little or no control. God’s sovereignty is in place before, during and after these seasons, working through them according to His time and His plan.”—Engedi Salon

This article is part of The Lakeshore, a new featured section of Rapid Growth focused on West Michigan's Lakeshore region. Over the coming months, Rapid Growth will be expanding to cover the complex challenges in this community by focusing on the organizations, projects, programs, and individuals working to improve conditions and solve problems for their region. As the coverage continues, look for The Lakeshore publication, coming in 2020.
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