The Art of Adaption, The Need to Survive


Yukon businesses, organizations and churches have found innovative ways to reach their customers, clients and members due to the COVID-19 shutdown.

Zoom, a video conferencing app, and social media services like Facebook and YouTube have become popular options after we were told we must stay six feet away from each other and can’t congregate.

All fitness centers and gyms in Yukon were mandated to close. But the Vitality Mill, owned by Seth Humphrey, has been keeping its members active and healthy by providing “virtual” workouts.

I’ve done several with my trainer, Lino Gomez, although I much prefer real “personal” training.

I’ve interviewed pastors of several Yukon churches who say they are now reaching many more people than they would otherwise by sharing their Sunday services on online and social media platforms.

I think some of our Yukon businesses will similarly be able to capitalize and gain new customers and clients.

With hair salons and fitness centers having been forced to close, I had feared there would be an influx of out-of-shape, long-haired people.

But the “partial” reopening plan allow barbers and stylists to start cutting hair again and gyms to begin working flabby people out.

Our Saturday print deadline is Thursday afternoon so I wrote this column before restaurants reopened Friday for dine-in customers.

I have been envisioning long lines of diners this weekend waiting outside to enter (and sit down inside) some of Yukon’s many eateries like Chili’s, Cheddars, Green Chile Kitchen, Mae’s, Braum’s, LongHorn, Lokal, and Bad Brad’s BBQ.

But not all restaurants decided to reopen Friday, instead continue to offer take-out/delivery only as they bring back employees they had to furlough while hiring and training new staff.

I fear the extra $600 unemployment benefit the government is providing during this health crisis has been a bit too enticing for some out-of-work employees. Paying people even more not to work is going to hurt this country much more long-term than the virus.

Keeping businesses shuttered for much longer during this COVID-induced shutdown is simply not sustainable in states that have relatively low caseloads.

Yukon firefighter retires

A longtime Yukon firefighter recently donned his helmet and bunker gear for the last time.

Jimmy White, who started as a Yukon firefighter in April 1989, has retired as battalion chief after 31 years at the Yukon Fire Department.

Jimmy was the last firefighter remaining at the Yukon Fire Department from when I started working in Yukon in May 1991.

Jimmy was looking forward to his long-awaited retirement ceremony this month, but that event had to be postponed. Yukon Fire Chief Shawn Vogt says he’s hoping to reschedule the ceremony soon (maybe in June?) at fire station one.

Jimmy, who was named Yukon’s “City Employee of the Year” for 2018, had been the longest tenured firefighter here.

His retirement followed that of battalion chief Kent Long, who left in January after 29 years of service at the YFD.

School year ends

It may be difficult to imagine but the 2019-20 school year is ending NEXT Friday, May 8. An early start to the summer for Yukon’s students and teachers!

Animal adoptions continue

Yukon Animal Control and Pets & People Humane Society are now in separate buildings after the City of Yukon opened its new animal control facility at 701 Inla. Pets & People’s animals and workers remain in the “old shelter” directly west pending construction of their future 4,200 square foot rescue center.

Although Yukon Animal Control and Pets & People now occupy separate spaces, they’re partnering on a discount adoption event.

They will participate in Bissell Pet Foundation’s “Empty the Shelters” adoption special May 9-17.

This will be an opportunity to adopt a new dog or cat for just $25!

If there’s a silver lining in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been an increase in pet adoptions and people willing to foster animals in their homes.

It’s great to see the City of Yukon’s animal shelter staff and local humane society working together to find “furr-ever” homes for many great dogs and cats. Yukon Animal Control supervisor Kelly Robichaud and Pets & People executive director Amy Young are commended for their efforts during this challenging time.

Read more about Bissell’s upcoming “Empty the Shelters” adoption event next week in your Yukon Progress.