By: María Alejandra Pulgar
March 2020 will forever be remembered as the month when the world stopped in its tracks.
Doral is no exception. Suspension of school activities, and progressive closure of businesses and public offices deemed non-essential to maintain public health, has impacted the lives of residents and business owners.
The COVID-19 outbreak was declared by the World Health Organization as a pandemic on March 11th. To the date of closing this edition, it has affected more almost 1.800.000 people worldwide, 84 of them in the City of Doral. Those numbers include only those who have been tested and increase exponentially daily as more testing becomes available.
Whereas in other countries governments have imposed strict limitations on their citizens to control the outbreak, the US approach relies on social responsibility guided by local and federal authorities, based on several factors such as population density, mobility, health system capacity and infrastructure, and other characteristics of their locations. This approach looks to maintain the delicate balance between preserving constitutional rights and proclaiming regulations that protect public health.
This emergency has made evident the influence that checks and balances has on the decisions made between Federal and State governments, as local authorities are the ones who ultimately know the needs of their communities. Therefore, they have in many cases taken public safety measures before those have been announced at a federal level.
Amid the frenzy at local stores, where residents searched for supplies to prepare their households for a potential voluntary or mandatory lockdown, there were also initiatives geared towards supporting those in need in the community. Where social distancing was now a rule, social responsibility and solidarity have appeared, showing that the Doral community can come together to care for each other and overcome adversity.
Initiatives of solidarity
There have been Doral neighbors organized to support older residents to make their supply purchases. Parents are guiding their children through virtual schoolwork. Volunteers made masks to donate to healthcare workers. Others residents gave tips on neighborhood online groups about where to find toilet paper, disinfectant or protective gear, or food distribution centers. Residents have used their talents during this forced free time to offer services that have proven to be essential under the current circumstances.
Social networks have been powerful tools for supporting local authorities on keeping residents informed and creating relationships between products and services available in the city and those who are able to provide them through delivery or on remote connections. The more Doral residents support local businesses the faster the city’s economy will bounce back when the emergency is over and social isolation measures begin to be lifted.
Although there are always exceptions, such as the people throwing used masks and gloves on the floor on parking lots, or the selfish that purchased all the cleaning supplies and toilet paper available at the supermarket, there has been plenty of proof of empathy, solidarity, and consideration for the common good among people in Doral.
The faster residents adopt safety measures recommended by authorities to control the infection, the lesser cases will appear in Doral in the upcoming weeks. Together we can come out triumphant at the end of these complicated times. Patience and prudence are the virtues to be fostered to achieve that common aim.