There is no way that Dallas, Texas, population of 1.3 million, and Fredericksburg, Texas, population of 11,400, are handling the global pandemic in exactly the same manner, and, in fact, they are not.
As members of the Dallas community, we reside in our metroplex-size bubble, focusing only on our own pandemic management. However, as wrapped up as we get in our own city, we tend forget how the towns just outside our skyline are running at this time.
Although the Covid-19 Pandemic has hit the world with plenty of losses, small towns in the US have surprisingly looked to the bright side of the situation.
While large, metro cities took a severe economic hit, losing almost 84% of national employment according to Brookings.com, smaller towns were able to accommodate for this loss by the rise in certain economic areas like tourism and shopping.
An article from The Conversation said that although the industrial economies have decline, “Some places have invested in cultural tourism, which encourages travelers to visit particular communities and learn about their local culture.”
The Conversation continues to note these town’s coping with social distancing laws while still boosting tourism. Marks, Mississippi, for example, has implemented a trail honoring the beginning of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Poor People’s Campaign, a trail which people can safely social distance while enjoying an activity away from their homes.
Business Insider also gave a looks into to, almost ironic, rise of health and fitness in small towns during the pandemic.
Due to the need for social distanced activity, many small town residents have taken up leisure activities such as walking and cycling, both activities which sparked the need for paths and parks.
The small town governments were quick to take action in building new paths because they not only provide residents with outside and distanced activity but, “these routes are useful for people who need to visit local businesses or medical offices but are no longer willing or able to take a bus or get a ride from a friend, neighbor, or ride service,” said Business Insider.
Another aspect of the small-town experience has always been the classic farmer’s market. However, in recent years, these markets have declined due to the public’s need to quickness and efficiency. But, due to closing of grocery stores, these markets have had an opportunity to thrive.
The Conversation noted how this resurgence of farmer’s markets is beneficial to everyone, saying, “The farmers make more money by cutting out the middleman, and consumers can get fresh local produce at affordable prices.”
Small towns, specifically tourist attractions, such as Breckenridge, Colorado, have turned to outdoor shopping and eating sites.
Breckenridge specifically, has blocked off the traffic to their popular shopping and dining area of main street, where for several blocks, can enjoy window shopping at a safe distance. The city has also set table throughout the middle of the street to provide restaurants with more outdoor, safely distanced seating.
These small towns, more than ever, are thriving in many unexpected ways during this pandemic. Although the world is struggling, these towns are proving to be a place away from the chaotic, big-city bubble, for they are able to provide new, safe ways to dine, shop, and visit in a social-distanced manner not found in the big city.