March 31 2020 09:25 AM

The scariest thing about COVID-19 is the unknowns it brings to our health and the economy.

“Well, that escalated quickly.” It seems to be the appropriate phrase to describe the last two weeks. What looked like would only be a slight interruption, has brought the global community to a grinding halt. Of course, just like everything else in your news feed right now, I’m talking about COVID-19.

This really does feel like a strange twilight zone moment. Maybe we can all wake up from this strange dream and carry on, but the reality is at least 30 more days of social distancing.

This brings us to a time in history that no one has experienced before. And inevitably, the questions are swirling around the long-term effects of this virus. Especially the economic impact.

It’s hard for me to not look at the speculation of what this will all do to milk prices and not worry. How will consumer consumption of dairy products change, and how will that affect the market? Will any of the economic Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act actually aid farmers?

That’s what it all is right now. Speculation and questions for an event none of us have ever lived through before. This is definitely an unprecedented time in history.

The situation warrants feelings of unease on the future of the dairy industry. Especially when riding on the tails of such difficult past several years, but if the dairy community is anything, it’s resilient.

So, give yourself some grace in this time as you tighten your bootstraps. There really is no sure outcome from all of this at this point. And in that, we can all be together.

Darleen Sichley

The author is a third-generation dairy farmer from Oregon where she farms in partnership with her husband and parents. As a mother of two young boys who round out the family-run operation as micro managers, Darleen blogs about the three generations of her family working together at Guernsey Dairy Mama. Abiqua Acres Mann's Guernsey Dairy is currently home to 90 registered Guernseys and transitioned to a robotic milking system in 2017.