Allow despair to empty you so that an appetite for life may return.  

The last several weeks have been tough for so many of us. We all know someone who has recently been furloughed or laid off. Others are fighting an unseen virus or caring for family struggling with the same. And some feel confined at home, forced to choose between their physical health or the world at large. In a record short time the world we know has changed in ways that none of us ever imagined were possible.   

But we know for every force there is an equal and opposite force. Just as we have dropped from the highs of an economic recovery that lasted some 10 years, to the lows of unemployment approaching percentage levels not seen in the last 100 years, we are now beginning to see a bit of equilibrium return. This past week we saw several counties begin to open outdoor recreation areas for the public to resume use. Many golf courses, beaches, parks, and trails are now accessible once again, albeit with the requirement for physical distancing and face coverings. In the days and weeks to come we will see a greater quantity and diversity outdoor recreational opportunities become available and more counties join the trend. In many ways this gradual reopening and blooming of the amenities we all sometimes take for granted is like the transition from spring to summer in terms of the natural environment. 

By the end of the week, the City’s outdoor basketball and tennis courts will reopen and by next week we anticipate re-opening the skate park. We encourage you to get outside and enjoy the outdoors. Exercising is good for both your physical and mental health. While doing so, continue to be safe, cover your face, and maintain at least 6 feet of space between you and other individuals who are not part of your household. Also, if you are walking your four-legged family members, please make sure to keep your pups on leash. We want everyone on the trails to have a good time. Speaking of which, last weekend, the County of San Bernardino re-opened the North Etiwanda Preserve, although the Rancho Cucamonga Police Department will still be enforcing all parking restrictions. (And, with the warmer weather, ensure you are drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated!)  

These are but the first signs of a budding recovery. In the near to middle term future, we will begin to see public facilities locally and elsewhere easing their restrictions on access. Rancho Cucamonga City Hall, which remained open for business this entire time, albeit with appointments required ahead of time, will begin allowing walkup business once again (subject to face coverings and social distancing). Businesses will slowly reopen and resume serving the public in California.  
Things will not be the same, however. Some businesses may not reopen, as we have already seen and heard of entities both large and small filing for bankruptcy. Similar to what happens with the virus in a person, this pandemic has laid bare economic weaknesses in our business sector. Large gatherings may be a year or more away from resuming in anything similar to their prior form. Even when businesses reopen, the practices and protocols we previously took for granted are likely to be significantly altered. The world has changed, and that change leaves its mark on us and around us. It seems quite apparent that some, and possibly many changes will be permanent. As an example, the office environment is already adapting to the physical distancing and telecommuting requirements. And until there is a vaccine, which could take another year, the virus is still here and something we must take into account. 

Fiscally, the impacts of the last two months are only beginning to be felt publicly and privately and those fiscal impacts will linger far longer than the direct impacts of the virus itself. We may develop a vaccine for COVID-19 but there is no “fiscal impact vaccine”. Take heart, however, because the changes which have already begun are in themselves neither good nor bad. How we handle the transition determines whether we use the knowledge to improve ourselves or not. We must bid farewell appropriately to the past, work to bring everyone along as we go thru the current “in-between” time, and then create new practices, protocols and behaviors as we finish the transition to a new normal. Like we have in the past we will reinvent ourselves for the future and continue our proud tradition as a world class community.

To assist with the economic impact on our community and business owners, the City of Rancho Cucamonga’s experts in GIS have created a list of businesses that are deemed essential and operating. At the City, we are privileged to be able to use our resources to try and help support these businesses during these trying times. We encourage you to continue to support our RC businesses! If you are a business own in this community and you would like to be included in this list, you can do so by completing this Open for Business Survey

Life will return. The return is slowly beginning. It will be different but different isn’t necessarily bad. Allow the hope and appetite for life to come back. Theodore Roosevelt said, “Believe you can and you are halfway there.” We are halfway there. The journey back is just beginning. And in this case, the journey itself is more important than the destination. Come with us, Rancho Cucamonga. There is new future ahead and we will all have a part in co-creating that future. 

P.S. We know change is hard and scary, to help break the tension, the Community Services Department is here to bring smiles to your faces - they have started a Laugh Line that is open Monday-Thursday, between 2:00 and 3:00 p.m. to hear a cheesy, kid-friendly joke. Call (909) 477-1267, for your daily dose of laughter!