Friday, October 23, 2020

"Are we changed forever by the pandemic?"

From CommonWealth Magazine, we share articles of interest for Franklin: 

"WHAT IF our lives are never the same again?

It took a blunt cabinet secretary at a dry state budget hearing to voice the fears of millions.

For Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack, the issue was, unsurprisingly, transportation. “The COVID pandemic may well have changed travel and transportation forever,” Pollack said at a hearing before the Legislature’s Ways and Means Committees on Wednesday.

Working from home, online shopping, and remote learning, Pollack said, have reshaped the needs of travelers. She said state officials have “begun to plan for a post-COVID world where some of the changes in travel remain long after the pandemic has been vanquished.”

Continue reading the article online

In my regular series of conversations with Town Administrator Jamie Hellen, we have talked of the genie is out of the bottle and how there are aspects of life that we should not go back to, there are improvements already available. 

One clear example, is the public meeting format. We have had greater participation via Zoom, cable broadcast and the hybrid meeting room that we ever could accomplish in the Council Chambers. The Chambers fit approx 75 people. The School Committee meetings have had over 300 a couple of times. The Council budget hearings had 1,000 over the two night radio broadcast.

The market study and the business listening sessions are a good opportunity to help figure out what doing business in Franklin will be like as the pandemic continues. No one has the 'crystal ball' as to what things will look like post-pandemic.

Transportation forecast already show lingering effects of the pandemic. In case you missed the study and meeting referenced here, check this link:

"Are we changed forever by the pandemic?"
"Are we changed forever by the pandemic?"

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