Seems like during any type of crisis many of us struggle with filtering. Filtering information, increased need from others and/or filtering the tasks that fill each day or the time each one takes. Some people have a vastly increased load and others are looking for ways to fill the day.

I’m sure lots of you have had increased contact from old friends or family you don’t communicate with on a daily basis. And then there are these new expressions. I was getting really annoyed for a while at the expression, “unusual times we’re in.”

Seems like everyone just has to say it at the beginning and end of each conversation. But then it hit me that this is something that ties us all together because we share this burden.

Stress management training teaches us to take time to do things that center us. I’ve done busy summers, oil spills, hurricanes, drownings, etc., and have to make sure during the stressful period I get sleep, eat well, don’t miss workouts, meditate each morning and take time to do things I like away from the maelstrom. I try not to miss chatting with friends and co-workers about shared interests and spending time with family.

What’s been so amazing in this crisis is watching how some people and organizations just shine. I’ve been so impressed with our council, city leadership, park board members and staff, and the incredibly brave men and women in the beach patrol and all other Galveston and Jamaica Beach public safety groups. Not just the individuals, but the way everyone suddenly, when facing serious challenges, rises to the occasion and supports the overall good.

We’ve had some terrible beach tragedies lately. But the support and coordination between groups are inspirational. Our board and the city are working together to mitigate some very serious financial issues that affect the beach patrol. The city management, police, beach patrol, coastal zone management and city traffic department have coordinated some pretty creative responses to the recent dramatic influx of people to the beach. Galveston Marine Response is routinely and efficiently responding to all kinds of craziness. And I have to mention the police department dispatchers. Wow, they’ve been holding it down. All are a real credit to the residents they serve.

Every time we hit a crisis; someone is there. One of many examples is that we had to get guards, park staff, wave watchers, coastal zone management, etc. all out with 48 hours’ notice, but we didn’t have masks. Suddenly, Peggy Baldwin, Jackie Cole, Trish Wooten, Robert Krout, Sue Carlton, Mark Poretto and others were there unobtrusively dropping off packs of masks for everyone.

We were buried in all kinds of beach drama and thousands of people last weekend. I remember clearing some scene and looking up and seeing a plane pulling a banner, designed by the park board and funded by the city, reminding people about social distancing.

I dove back into the fray with a feeling that together we can get through anything.

Peter Davis is chief of the Galveston Island Beach Patrol. The views in this column are Davis’ and do not necessarily represent those of the Beach Patrol, Galveston Park Board of Trustees or any other entity.

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