All in This Together
Few things have tested the mettle and resilience of our community like the ongoing COVID-19 crisis which has affected all our lives and livelihoods in one way or another. Few understand this better than Mayor Patrick Taylor who, in conjunction with our town board, has dedicated countless hours planning policies to keep our community safe and our businesses viable.
Determining the initial steps to slow the spread were among the most difficult because state guidelines had not yet been implemented. Mayor Taylor said he and the board researched the best practices from other cities and counties, and combined those ideas with their own to decide on our initial response. Now that the state has issued guidelines we are adhering to those.
A few of the initial policies were a bit controversial, in particular asking second homeowners to stay away in the short-term as we sought to flatten the curve. Likewise, the road compliance checks were unpopular with some but succeeded in making people aware of the need to follow protocols, stay home as much as possible, and only travel when necessary.
Mayor Taylor emphasized that in true Highlander fashion people came together and cooperated, making our initial efforts so successful.
Likewise, he said it can’t be overstated that this has been a community effort with everyone doing their sincere best to follow guidelines and prevent spread. Merchants have done an outstanding job following protocols to keep their customers and employees safe. The Chamber of Commerce has been a vital partner in devising ways to keep businesses open and the public safe, most recently helping to place hand sanitizing stations, provided by the Highlands-Cashiers Health Foundation, throughout town.
As we continue our slow and measured reopening phase Taylor stresses that following the three W’s: Wash your hands, Wear face coverings and Wait at least six feet away from other people, will be crucial to keeping us safe and businesses open. The need for caution is still very real.
Like all of us Mayor Taylor and his wife, Sallie, have been finding ways to cope while social distancing and spending more time at home. They rediscovered their love of cooking and have honed their culinary skills. An artist by trade, he has had a lot more time in his pottery studio, which has resulted in a lot of new pieces for sale. His inventory levels have never been higher but the catch-22, and one familiar to many, is that sales are slow.
We are indeed all in this together.