[UPDATE 5.28.20]: Our whole family tested negative last Friday. If we all do so again May 29, we will be in the clear. No more isolation from each other – back to regular quarantining!

To one degree or another, we’ve all been in some form of crisis mode for months now. We long for a return to some degree of normalcy.

For me, that crisis mode has dictated incredibly long hours doing two of the things I love: communicating and problem solving.

The former has meant navigating a bewilderingly fluid flow of information from governments at all levels – a combination of drinking out of a firehose and playing whack-a-mole –  and distilling it for our community of local business owners and our larger 94941 community on this blog and the Mill Valley Chamber’s various other digital and social channels. The problem solving – helping business owners plan ahead for a return to normalcy amidst uncertainty – has been a rewarding challenge that I hope will yield some exciting concepts once we get the green light to move into the latter stages of phase 2 of the recovery.

It’s been hard work for the good of the community. It’s my job. All good, as those who know me have heard me say a million times.

Then my wife was diagnosed with coronavirus late last week, and all of a sudden, an ominous public health crisis and subsequent economic disaster became deeply personal. Her symptoms are relatively mild – sore throat, chills, achy, more tired than usual – and she’s in good spirits. I moved into our daughter’s room, my wife stays in ours most of the day, wears a mask when she’s in the same room as us. I deliver her meals to the door and usually make a bad joke (there may have been a Bubble Boy reference once or twice). It’s a weird, absolutely necessary setup, and it’s (hopefully) only two weeks.

It’s all been a sobering reminder of why we all are doing what we are doing: the social distancing, the masks, the relentless hand washing, the all-Zoom everything. (Side note: my daughter’s soccer team has been having practice via Zoom twice a week. We don’t have a backyard, so she’s in the garage doing drills. We spent many laughter-filled minutes yesterday trying to fish her ball out from being wedged between the dryer and the hot water heater).

My daughter and I tested negative. We’ll all get tested again this Friday, per doctor’s recommendation. The confusion around testing remains unsettling, with the constant reminders about false positives and false negatives.

What’s the point of all this? All of us are taking all these incredibly difficult measures for a reason. As we move toward an emergence from this shelter in place, let’s keep taking care of each other. This is not an academic exercise!

Oh, and I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t urge you to support your local Mill Valley businesses in any way you can! I can’t say enough about how rough this has been for businesses in town. The forced closures during the shelter in place coupled with the massive uptick in spending via tech giants who have no vested interest in our community has made for a rough road ahead. Please do your part! Those buttons over there >>>>> are a good place to start.

Much love to you and yours. 


Jim Welte
MV Chamber

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