To say the last six weeks have been stifling is an understatement. As hysteria over the Coronavirus reached a fever-pitch, Stay at Home orders shot out from governors all over the country, including here in Virginia. While a daily barrage of projections of doom and gloom fill national news reports, the Town of Montross decided on a very different approach. Town Manager Patricia Lewis explained just what had been going on over the last month-and-a-half.
Probably one of the more notable things was the star on the water tower lighting on March 26, and the Volunteer Assistance Program that was activated just two weeks before then. Bay Aging is also still going strong with their Helping Neighbors program throughout the area.
Meanwhile, on Visit Montross Virginia’s facebook page, a message was sent out from the town:
“To Our Northern Neck Family: Our thoughts go out to our friends, families, and businesses as we struggle with Covid-19 and the uncertainties it has brought to our daily lives. As a symbol of hope, the Town of Montross has lit the star on the water tower. This “Light of Hope” will serve as a reminder that the compassion and selflessness of our citizens will prevail. Our love for community and commitment to each other is what rural communities are all about. We encourage you to join in. Light a candle and place it in a window to show that we are all in this TOGETHER! Northern Neck Strong! Take care of each other, support local businesses, and stay safe!”
On April 14, an emergency meeting was held by the town council, with an ordinance passed that would allow for virtual meetings of the council. Public comments could be submitted before the meetings via phone calls, emails, and the like. The Westmoreland County School Board has a similar system in place for their livestreamed meetings, though in their case, comments are made during a 15-minute period on the stream that they review a short time later. There are plenty of other examples of Northern Neck communities working to support one another during this mess, such as the Coronabux program that was cooked up in Warsaw.