The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Texas Governor’s Office and the White House are advising residents to avoid gatherings of 10 people or more in order to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus. As always, the City of Victoria strongly urges the community to follow the state governor’s executive orders and CDC guidelines along with recommendations from the Victoria County Public Health Department.
However, at a time when authorities are encouraging physical distancing, it’s important to remember that we can continue to find ways to take part in community life and enjoy what Victoria has to offer. Continuing to support local businesses and nonprofits is an important step toward finding a new normal for however long this situation lasts. Just as importantly, our efforts will keep our community organizations afloat as they weather the downturn in visitors.
Do you want to get a bite to eat from your favorite restaurant? See if they deliver or offer takeout. Many restaurants offer delivery using either their own drivers or one of the many delivery apps available in our community. If the restaurant you’d like to order from doesn’t offer delivery, call them and ask if they’re considering adding the option.
In today’s increasingly digital world, many businesses—even small local businesses—offer online shopping and delivery. You can avoid a trip to a public store or office by placing an order online. Again, business owners are likely to change how they offer services, so if you don’t see an option to order online, call and ask about it.
Of course, the internet or telephone can’t replace a visit to a museum, the Texas Zoo or any of the many popular entertainment locations in our city. This is all the more reason to keep them in mind. Consider buying a gift card or membership for someplace you’ve been thinking about visiting. That way, once current guidelines are relaxed or lifted, you can pay them a visit, along with any out-of-town friends or family who may be wanting to see you by then.
If you don’t feel like buying a gift card or membership, consider making a donation to a local nonprofit. This doesn’t just apply to museums and arts groups that depend on tourism and ticket sales. Many of our community nonprofits raise funds through public events, and they will need a boost as well. Even if your favorite annual fundraiser is postponed or canceled, you can still support the organizer by sending them a check or forgoing a refund.
Finally, keep in mind that physical distancing doesn’t mean that you have to shut yourself in your house until the crisis passes. You can still enjoy different types of activities around Victoria while keeping yourself safe. Take a walk through Riverside Park or along the Lone Tree Creek Hike and Bike Trail. Take your family on a driving tour of Old Victoria or visit our city’s historical markers. Information about historical sites in Victoria can be found at historicvictoriatexas.com.
For more information about things to do around Victoria now or at any time, visit explorevictoriatexas.com.
Joel Novosad is the director of the City of Victoria’s Convention and Visitors Bureau.