Mayor's Message

March 23, 2020

As best we know, we are still in the early stages of this critical fight for our lives, and fight for our community. There has been overwhelming voluntary cooperation in practicing social distancing. Now, it is time to identify the ways we are falling short and make social distancing the norm, without exception.

We know the virus spreads in density. We are learning that, while our older population may suffer the worst from COVID-19, no one is immune from catching it and spreading it to others. We cannot fumble on this and our attempts to cut the virus off cannot lag behind its lethal trajectory. While the virus may be with us for a long time, we are told that our chance to make a real difference is now and, perhaps, only really extending for the next couple weeks. That chance is about preserving hospital capacity and slowing the infection rate sufficiently so that hospitals can deal with it. I cannot emphasis enough, social distancing is the key to flattening the curve and containing the virus so it does not exceed our health care resources. The chance to make a difference truly rests with every single person.

Each day we lose a bit of normal life and give up a bit more. The virus does not know normal life. Takeout from our restaurants represents a fraction of the business that they once had, but it helps keep employees working and provides a bit more quality of life for us. We want that to continue as long as possible but it needs to continue in the safest ways possible. Safe social distancing needs to be practiced there, just like everywhere else. Every activity we are left with, those that we determine to be life sustaining, has to be practiced with the same regard for the health of you, your family, your friends and neighbors and those who are staffing those locations. There is no more reliable source for good information (and there is bad information out there) than the CDC website. Stay informed. The virus feeds on our complacency. Each succeeding day we face it, we face a growing temptation to be complacent.

Please take an opportunity to thank those among us who are taking risks to help us get through this. Yes, the health care professionals and first responders, but also those who show up to staff our grocery stores, work in our senior communities, and pick up our trash. While still engaging in social distancing, thank any and all who put aside personal safety to step up in large and small ways.

Don't let social distancing lead to isolation or even depression in yourself or anyone in your family or among your relatives or friends or anyone in your community. At the same time that we engage in best practices we should find ways to connect in newer ways or even the old fashioned written ways, with more people, not fewer people.

How long it takes and how well we get through this depends on what we do. We are indeed, in this together so, as a community, practice what we do with humanity and kindness.

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