We find ourselves in extraordinary times. When I came into this office, I certainly had no idea that a year later we would be working through a period of such uncertainty. I am so grateful for the leadership we are working with in the county, county public health, hospitals, emergency services district, police, fire, EMS and countless other agencies and support organizations to help guide us through this time.
By the time the next issue of this paper rolls out, we expect to know much more than we do today. Will our efforts to “flatten the curve” succeed? How severe will the disease be for those who fall ill? Will warmer weather turn the tide against the virus? Will the drugs being used experimentally yield better treatments? Will our first responders, doctors, nurses, and hospitals hold up to the challenge? How far will the virus go? Will the economy survive during this difficult time? So many questions create so much uncertainty.
I have only experienced a couple periods of global uncertainty that I can remember: The onset of the first Gulf War and 9/11. In both cases I remember the feeling of fear about the outcome and wondering what was about to happen. In both cases, as in many cases before in our history, our country always rose to the challenge and came together during those periods. While we may still be working to mobilize, I can see the spirit of our people rising up to address the threat before us. We will come through this. We will not be the same perhaps: stronger in some ways, more aware of our vulnerabilities, but hopefully more appreciative of the good times to which we hope to return quickly.
If we are to win this battle however, we are being told we need to do more. Stay home more. Be more careful doing essential tasks. Protect our families, the sick, and the elderly from accidental and incidental contact. Our general knowledge of the dangers and the things we need to do is growing, but as yet our discipline and practice is not yet accomplishing enough.
For the moment the danger still seems remote, but it is here and it is real. In the coming days we need to really buckle down together to be successful. I am confident in our ability to do the right things and ask that you elevate your carefulness and separation as we try to change the trajectory of this crisis before us. This may be the defining challenge of our generation or it could be a temporary societal reset that quickly fades into memory. I believe we all desire to see the latter so let’s get to work at doing the things we need to do.