The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world that we live in upside down. It’s unbelievable to think that it was barely a year ago that our state was dominated by discussions on the budget and how entities were going to keep afloat. Now, COVID-19 has fundamentally altered our economy and society. The “normal” that we existed in before the pandemic may never return. Already, this summer is a vastly different one. We are already realizing that the pandemic is fundamentally changing how we interact, how we do business, and how we care for our families and loved ones.
Here in the Tanana Valley, we are used to tough challenges. We’re often asked how is it that we can stand to live in such a remote and cold place and we have all given a similar answer: that it’s the sense of community and care from our neighbors in Interior Alaska that is unmatched anywhere else. COVID-19 may be crippling our economy and severely impacting community members, yet we continue to take care of each other. When the public health disaster emergency was declared, our community stepped up. The United Way of the Tanana Valley swiftly went to work in creating a COVID-19 Response Fund and raised over $105,000 to immediately help nonprofit agencies and programs provide food, shelter, and other basic human necessities to the our most needy.