Again, I hope and pray that this note finds everyone well. In late March, we were in the early days of the state’s shelter-in-place executive order. We were all figuring out how to follow the guidelines while still maintaining some semblance of normalcy. Since that time, we’ve seen further guidelines with added restrictions. Most have followed the Governor’s executive orders, accepted these restrictions and made changes to their lifestyle to keep themselves and their family safe. To each of you, we thank you.
We realize it is difficult to navigate all the restrictions but ask everyone to remain vigilant. NJ, including Wayne, is still seeing our numbers increase. As of this writing, there are 47,437 cases of COVID-19 in NJ, of which 453 are in Wayne. For perspective, our last update on March 23rd reported 742 cases of COVID-19 in NJ, 18 of which were in Wayne That’s an unimaginable increase despite the efforts of many. Please embrace our new norm. Please participate by staying away from each other. Please talk to your children. We are still seeing too many youths congregating in front of the church, around the fields or in our lots.
At the risk of repeating ourselves, following are a few reminders and some new announcements:
· The State of NJ is under a state-wide stay-at-home order via the Governor’s Executive Order.
o Residents are to stay at home until further notice
o Please do get out for some fresh air and exercise.
o Please walk in your neighborhood. (Please walk on the left side)
o Please observe social distancing (6-feet min)
· All golf clubs, tennis clubs, state/county/local parks are closed:
o Packanack Golf Club is closed (clubhouse, lot and course included)
o Packanack Tennis Club is closed (clubhouse, lot and courts included)
o Kilroy and Hess Fields are closed (lots and fields included)
o The Peninsula is closed
o The dam is closed (for walking, sitting, fishing, etc.)
· PLCA Clubhouse/West Beach Lot is closed
o The PLCA has decided to partially close the Clubhouse/West Beach Lot. The portions of the lot next to Lakeside and the PO will remain open for those businesses as well as access to the PLCA garage and trash for our disposal company.
· Packanack Lake Dam is closed
o The PLCA is working with the town to address the dam. We will start with signage and monitor progress. We ask all members to honor this closure so that we can comply with the executive order for social distancing.
Please know these decisions were not made lightly and were made in the spirit of complying with the Governor’s Executive Orders. There are pros and cons to lot closures and the dam closure. We realize not everyone will be happy with the additional measures but know that the Board of Governors is taking these steps in an attempt to reduce the risk to the community. Packanack is a beautiful place to walk and enjoy the views. The view will be here long after this pandemic is over. Please walk in your neighborhood or on the adjacent streets. If you must walk around the lake, please use caution at all times and in particular on Osborne Terrace. Again, if you cannot walk anywhere else, please walk single file and socially distanced while on Osborne Terrace.
We realize we attract many from outside our community and our town, and that many of these folks are not as vested in our community or our wellbeing. We are taking all possible measures to protect our residents. The above closures will be broadly communicated via all our traditional mediums, including email and social media – Packanews when possible. Additional signage will go up in all of the above locations. We hope to deter visitors during this period of extreme measures and look forward to the future when such measures are no longer required.
Please note that the PLCA office and clubhouse will remain closed until further notice. Please utilize email, telephone, clubhouse mailbox or snail mail to communicate with the office. Please also note that our Annual Clean-up Day, Saturday, May 2nd has been postponed with no reschedule date at this time. Please disregard the article in the Packanews as it went to print prior. Lastly, our Semi-Annual meeting has been postponed until further notice.
For up to date information, please follow state-level comms via https://covid19.nj.gov/ and town level comms via https://waynetownship.com/message-from-the-mayor.html.
Now I’d like to balance the reality of our new norm by sharing some of the amazing humanitarian efforts within our community.
#FrontStepsProject is a national initiative brought locally by our very own Packanack Mother’s Club member, Lynda Konzelman. Lynda is a mom with two young children and her husband is an essential worker. She decided to bring this amazing community project to Packanack. The mission of the #TheFrontStepsProject is to “bring us together virtually despite being – and maybe feeling – isolated”. ” Its aim is to highlight the faces of our community during a time when we might not see them in passing at the grocery store, coffee shop, on the train or at the gym.” In 2-3 minutes, Lynda snaps a few photos of families right outside on their front step (from a safe distance). The smiles and joy she brings each family last much longer. So far, over 100 people have signed up and over half have already been photographed. Once complete, the pictures will be posted on her blog for all to see at http://www.lyndareneephotography.com/blog. For those interested in participating, you can sign up at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1jwR4YRsG16eK3ZzwYGjjhzN5CSbGAjYTbKfQSJec0Gs All participants can donate any amount they see fit. The Mother’s Club is collecting the funds and making donations to the institutions where our first responder members work, including Chilton, Valley, Mount Sinai, Hospital for Special Surgery, Hackensack, Morristown, and Maywood Police Department. If you’d like to contribute to this amazing effort, please send your monetary contribution via VENMO to @Lindsay-Crossnohere. If you would like to have your donation go towards a specific cause, please add a note under “What is this for”. i.e. Pay $25.00 for Mount Sinai Hospital – Konzelman Family #FrontStepsProject. A huge thank you to Lynda and her Front Steps Project helpers!
Mother’s Club Health Hero’s initiative. The Mother’s Club has been recognizing and supporting the moms and dads, our neighbors, who are front line workers with donations and tokens of appreciation. It’s been heartwarming to see the pictures and Facebook posts of doctors, nurses and police officers coming home from shift to thank you signs, warm welcomes, and a small treat bag just to say thank you for all you are doing. A huge thank you to all our Packanack Heros and a warm thank you to the Mother’s Club merrymakers who are making this all happen. If you want to learn more or contribute to this effort, please reach out to Amy Weiland at email@example.com.
Essential Worker Clap-out. At 7pm each night, join your neighbors outside for 5 minutes to recognize and celebrate all our healthcare, teachers and essential workers. For 5 minutes each night clap, light a candle or hold up signs for all who are so unselfishly giving of themselves to support the many. If you have pictures, please share it with Kristi Vaiden and the Packanews at firstname.lastname@example.org
Meals for our Wayne First Responders – Through the generous donations of members of the community, Hara O’Dowd and the Rustic Cafe will be providing meals for our Wayne Police Department and our Wayne Memorial First Aid Squad. The Wayne Fire Department asked that we focus on these organizations at this time. That said, we thank all our first responders for everything they do! If you would like to make a donation, please reach out to Rose Farina or Jill Taliano. A huge thank you to Hara and her elves for making sure we keep our heroes well fed.
Local Heros: One of our members works for an amazing company that is showing its appreciation in a meaningful way. BP America announced that it would offer 50c per gallon discount on BP and Amoco fuel to first responders, doctors, nurses and hospital workers. If you know someone working on the front lines of this crisis, please let them know. They can sign up at www.bp.com/localheroes Thank you, Rob Meyers!!
As you can see, the Packanack community is alive and well, albeit virtual. We have found new ways of being “together”, supporting our friends and neighbors and celebrating our everyday heroes. With all the craziness of today, including those things which we cannot control, I’d like to leave you with the wisdom of the Dalai Lama, “Do not let the behavior of others, destroy your inner peace”.