You would be hard-pressed to find much good news in the world right now. Even before the coronavirus began infiltrating the area about three weeks ago, we were treated to the political barbs and jabs that get tossed around during every election cycle, from local races all the way to presidential debates.
Even in our own community paper, we’ve been the bearer of rough news recently – which, while necessary, still breaks my heart to even have to report. As of publication, Fort Bend County officials had reported 42 cases of COVID-19, the upper-respiratory disease caused by the new strain of coronavirus, with more cases likely as testing becomes more readily available in the region.
But amidst all of that, a couple of local entities found a way to remind us over the last week that even while the pandemic that’s gripping the globe has taken a hold on Fort Bend County, we often see the best of humanity reveal itself in a crisis.
And I’d like to bring you some rare positivity in the current COVID-19 world. In today’s issue, you’ll see a few stories of our community banding together.
Beginning last Thursday, workers from Republic Country Club & BBQ at 11110 W. Airport Blvd. in Stafford have lined up outside the restaurant to serve meals to customers who drive up or order ahead from 11:30 a.m. until they run out. And beginning Monday morning, they were handing out free meals to all first responders until they ran out of food in anticipation of their closure – with uncertainty about when or if they might open again.
The restaurant workers did not have to give up their time and effort. They could have simply sat in their homes and felt sorry for themselves and the situation – which nobody would have blamed them for doing. It’s a rough stretch for every business.
Yet here they were, embodying what makes the Fort Bend community, and so many around the Houston region, a shining star. Right now, workers are giving up what could be an impromptu vacation – which we could all use – and instead using that time to provide meals for others.
Further, the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office, in collaboration with the Office of Emergency Management, recently gave 8,000 free bottles of disinfectant solution to Fort Bend County residents at the Gus George Law Enforcement Center at 1521 Eugene Heimann Circle in Richmond over the course of four days, beginning Friday. Along with Sugar Land-based De Nora Water Technologies, the disinfectant was distributed to residents in 32-ounce bottles with a singular one-gallon refill container per household from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. daily prior to a stoppage order from County Judge KP George.
Yes, their job is to protect us. But agreeing to this partnership when De Nora approached them is above and beyond what law enforcement officers are typically called to do. They could have skated by with the bare minimum, but chose to go the extra mile.
But then again, I don’t think we should be surprised. From the Memorial Day floods to Hurricane Harvey and now COVID-19, one thing this region has always done is band together in a crisis. Because of that, I have such great pride in living here.
Say what you will about what business has become in some cases, catering to greed and forgetting where they came from, and law enforcement officers abusing their power. But I think these acts show that true service and compassion still exist in the world, no matter what anyone thinks.
I honestly believe that a person’s true colors come out whenever danger presents itself. At the moment, I could not possibly care less about what motivated the restaurant manager to give away what they have remaining, or the FBCSO to engage in that partnership. It’s inconsequential. Why? Because in the end, this life is about people helping each other, and showing compassion. The residents of this great community have gained some semblance of certainty in an uncertain situation.
Once again, we’re seeing the best of humanity reveal itself in a crisis.
That’s all that really counts.