Cyr Understands Difficulties Pandemic is Having on Cape Cod

Cape and Islands State Senator Julian Cyr.

HYANNIS – Cape and Islands State Senator Julian Cyr says he understands the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on Cape Cod residents.

“We are managing like many Cape Codders and Islanders and we are fortunate to be able to do most all of our work from home and I’m very cognizant of the people in our community who don’t have that privilege,” he said.

Cyr referred to front line people in hospitals and health-centers and nursing facilities, grocery store workers, the Steamship Authority and the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority.

“This is a really difficult time for everyone, especially for people here on the Cape and on the Islands. Not only with the current public health crisis that we’re in but as we begin to recover and maybe have a glimmer of maybe being able to open up, the financial pain is going to be significant.”

He said major changes to or a potential reduction of the summer season can provide anxiety because so many people rely on the summer months for revenue.

Cyr said that though there is a lot that is still unknown, it is likely that Cape Cod could have a muted season.

The Cape Cod & Islands legislative delegation recently released a region-wide guidance to seasonal residents of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket as the summer season approaches.

The aim of the guidance is to speak with one consistent message to the region’s seasonal residents, second home-owners, summer workers, and visitors to ensure public health and promote economic vitality when the region is able to reopen.

“This is just a very difficult time. Cape Codders and Islanders are resilient folks and we are going to get through this,” said Cyr.

“This is unprecedented but we are doing everything we can to help.”   

Cyr offered tips to Barnstable County residents on getting through the tough times.

“I think it’s really important that people take time for themselves, try to do things that help make them just get a little breath of fresh air,” said Cyr.

“I think we just have to be really gentle with ourselves, and understand that so many people are going through this, and don’t be shy to reach out for help.”   

Cyr and other state legislators have not been to the State House since March 10.

“Our work has increased substantially. We typically have a good volume anyway but the number of constituent requests that we’ve had has increased significantly and rightfully so,” said Cyr.

“There’s a number of Cape Codders and Islanders who need help getting access to a variety of services, navigating unemployment, particularly people who have more complicated unemployment claims.”

Cyr said that numerous Cape Cod residents have multiple jobs and revenue streams and that can make it difficult to claim unemployment.

State officials are continuing to pass legislation to help people in the Commonwealth but all discussions and caucusing relating to legislature has transitioned to allow for remote communication.

Cyr said his focus during the pandemic has been on appropriating and passing legislation, dealing with issues such as helping homeless people and nursing facilities, and communicating as much accurate information as he can to the public.

Cyr has also been part of the state Senate’s COVID-19 Working Group.

Established last month by Senate President Karen Spilka, the group meets every morning at 8:30 a.m. to identify policy, legislative, and budgetary actions needed to most effectively respond to the pandemic.

“A whole litany of legislation and any issues you can imagine has come before the group and we have tried to work through it and to do it in a collaborative way,”

“I feel fortunate to have been asked to participate in this.”

Cyr said in the group he has taken the lead on helping older adults during the pandemic.

He also mentioned that being part of the group has allowed him to bring the issues unique to Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket to other state legislators.

To see the guidance issued by the Cape Cod & Islands Legislative Delegation, click here.

About Luke Leitner

Luke Leitner grew up in Watertown Massachusetts and now lives in West Yarmouth on the Cape. He has been a part of the news team in the News Center since the spring of 2019. He studied business communications at Western New England University.
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