This is an Editorial by KPEL's Rob Kirkpatrick

Social Media is good for bringing us together, for better or for worse, and in the face of COVID-19, some local users are hoping to do good. Various posts have had the same general message: support local businesses as they face tough times ahead.

Fear of the Corona virus is keeping people away from restaurants, who usually operate on small margins. So here's something you can do: go to your favorite locally-owned restaurant and buy a gift certificate (or get it online if possible). Buy it directly from the restaurant, so they get the use of your money for a month or two. Then when things have settled down, treat your family (or fun date night with your spouse or some girlfriends) to an evening out and use your certificate!

It's not just restaurants that are likely to suffer from fewer-than-normal customers. Small boutiques and other businesses that don't necessarily sell the 'necessities' are hard hit in times of uncertainty. Gift cards are something that puts money in the bank for small businesses and can be used in the future.

What if we came together as a community and did some early holiday shopping in the form of online gift cards over the next couple of weeks? The majority of us don't have symptoms and won't so we will have a lot of time on our hands. Do some good!

Having hope means believing these hard times won't last forever. Let's take care of each other during this hard time.