Thank you for doing your part.

Here at the Jewish News, we’re trying to strike a balance between serious and necessary COVID-19 coverage and what the late, beloved children’s PBS host Mr. Rogers would have called “look to the helpers” stories. Because there are always people who are helping.

How can we all be helpers? Of course, the No. 1 thing is continued social distancing practices. As much as you can stay safely inside and away from other people to avoid inadvertently catching or spreading the disease, you should. We also spotlight many local fundraising efforts, nonprofits and volunteer-run programs that are always in need of support —both in print and online. But another, very easy thing you can do to be a helper is less obvious: Fill out the 2020 U.S. Census. That’s why we’ve devoted our cover this week to it.

An accurate count of every Southeast Michigan resident will ensure future federal funding and fair Congressional representation. That helps during crises like these, when any and all available funds are desperately needed. On page 14, you can read about Oakland County’s new interactive map of all confirmed COVID-19 patients by ZIP code. Having this kind of invaluable local information is only possible if residents take their role as U.S. citizens seriously and support our governmental institutions by doing things like filling out the Census.

Even if you missed the April 1 deadline, don’t worry — you will still have an opportunity to be counted. And thank you for doing your part.

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