Small town covid reactions

Knudsen Oil and Feed in Washington sells propane and other necessities.

Everyone is seeing the effects of the coronavirus, whether or not the virus is in Washington County. In small towns, businesses are affected but the essence of a small town may remain unchanged.

"I feel like we're close-knit here that if we would get that here we would all stick together," Herman resident Cristina Kephart said.

Petersen Bar 75 is closed for 10 days through April 1.

Village Clerk Vicky Kellogg said they know who their backups are for employees if they need to be gone and water and sewer needs work.

Kellogg said if residents need to pay their bills, they can mail them.

"Don't take it overboard but if you're 70-plus maybe you shouldn't be coming in here," she said. "I don't want people to confine themselves if they are healthy but I hope people also stay home if they are showing symptoms."

The village office in Kennard is closed to public access until further notice, though residents can mail their payments or drop them in the office door dropbox. Appointments can also be made.

Small town covid reactions

Hot Rod's Dew Drop Inn is only open for takeout now.

Rainy days in Kennard would normally mean a busy day of farmers congregating at the Dew Drop Inn, but because of the restrictions it is empty. The only option now is takeout.

Seniors who usually spend their mornings drinking coffee are not coming in anymore, not willing to risk their health.

Arlington gas stations are also seeing the effect.

Jennifer Elliott said business at Casey's has been “really slow.” She said gas was still selling because of the low prices, but inside, less was being bought.

At the Shell gas station, Sandy Johnson said there had been a little slowdown.

"The hours are changing to close at 9 p.m. to sanitize and everything," she said. "It's unfortunate that this has happened because it's affecting a lot of people."

Johnson said many are just paying at the pump.

Bob and Amy Harper own Knudsen Oil and Feed in Washington. They aren't worried.

"We're a necessity," said Bob. "People need propane, we will have to see as it goes forward. People still need tires and gas, we are just thankful. As long as we go to church every Sunday, we will be all right."

Harper said school buses aren't coming for fuel, but it was a good winter.

"As long as you make it through now, the farmers will kick up in another month, not much overhead in this building so it's a blessing," he said. "We are thankful to be in a small business like this in a small town."

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