“I hope we become more neighborly:” how Northeast Wisconsin is feeling about the Coronavirus pandemic


BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) — A viewer wrote in to Local 5 Wednesday morning, asking the station to look further than closings and technicalities of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I want the news to share their frustrations, fears, hopes, etc,” retired teacher Cindy Pahl told Local 5.

Local 5’s Erinn Taylor ventured out into the community to see how the public was holding up in the face of a pandemic.

Denice Fritsch of Greenleaf was stocking up on a month’s supply of basics at Festival Foods, after avoiding the grocery stores last week.

“It was crazy at Costco so I decided to go to Starbucks and go home,” she remembered.

As the cases of coronavirus increased, and news of quarantines across the country spread, she started to worry.

“I’m worried for our elderly, and our people that have small children,” she said. “I’m more worried for them.”

Grocery store parking lots are still busy, but Luna Cafe’s usually bustling dining area was empty Wednesday morning, a result of Governor Tony Evers’ order to temporarily end all dine-in services.

“Normally there’s a line like halfway to the door and we’ll have to weave through people to get things done,” Cafe Manager Heather Conard said.

She added that customers had been stopping by all morning to pick up a coffee to go, but the empty cafe would take some getting used to.

“It’s just strange,” she said. “We don’t, there’s just nobody here to talk to except for us.”

Bill Horsch of Sheboygan fished near the De Pere Boat Launch Wednesday morning.

He told Local 5 that he supported the restrictions: “What’s happening is we are taking all the precautions we can to stop the spread of the virus. And if that’s whats necessary, then I’m in favor of it.”

He added that there was a silver lining to the current situation, “the children being out of school, which actually gives me more time to spend with my grandsons, who I’m fishing with today.”

At Nature’s Best Floral & Boutique, owner Josh Kozlowski was also trying to make the best of the situation after restrictions placed on gathering sizes canceled weddings, funerals and a bridal shower that he had already prepared flowers for.

Wednesday afternoon, he and his staff worked to create bouquets from those canceled floral arrangements.

“And [we’re] bringing them to people in hospice,” he explained, “because they’re not really doing good here in my cooler and I would rather them go to some place that could really use them.”

It’s acts like that that Denice Fritsche hopes become more common in the wake of the pandemic.

“I hope that we become more neighborly and we don’t take things for granted anymore,” she told Local 5.


WFRV COVID-19 Coverage | Confirmed cases in Wisconsin
Tracking coronavirus | Local health experts talk coronavirus
Stimulus check calculator| Local businesses hiring during outbreak

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