To Our Valued Third District Residents,
"Social distancing." I despise the phrase. People are not made for "distancing": not social, not emotional, not economic. The last few weeks, with "social distancing," has seen an unprecedented halting of our economic activity, education system, and most personal interactions. Life has been altered in some ways for every one of us. We are all challenged, but none of us needs to face this challenge alone. It is a cliche, but no less accurate, to say we are all in it together.
Let me take just a moment to explain what the county is doing to help ease the crisis, and ease the strains we all face, while hopefully adding a bit of perspective.
First, the County's Emergency Operations Center has been running at peak capacity since before the Governor ordered most people to stay home. Through the EOC, we coordinate all county and local city responses, triage needs, marshall assets like masks and personal protective equipment, and get those resources to the first responders and medical professionals as needed. We also keep in close touch through the EOC with our hospitals to ensure their continued successful functioning. I have myself served as board liaison at the EOC – and will again this weekend – and can assure you that the activity is relentless, focused on getting resources where needed, and staffed by professionals dedicated to public safety.
Second, the county has fully empowered our chief public health officer, Dr. Nichole Quick, to direct the county's medical response to the Covid-19 challenges, and supported her medical decisions. The board has met multiple times per week since the outbreak of the pandemic to hear from Dr. Quick, question her as to the underlying science and medical issues, and acted quickly on policy matters under its purview, leaving the medical decisions to her and her staff.
Third, we have worked diligently to help our most vulnerable citizens in the crisis. New facilities are coming online to help with "social distancing" and with the separation and medical care of the most at-risk homeless population.
Finally, I am trying to keep beaches and trails open, so that people can follow medical advice to get out into the fresh air, while not overburdening those areas. Thus, new parking regulations and stepped up enforcement are in place around some of your most cherished outdoor attractions, but they are not denied to us completely.
Those are only some of what steps the county has taken to deal most immediately with our Covid-19 challenges. I realize some people think more should have been done sooner, and others that too much has been done already. But please know this: my colleagues and I have only done what we believed was the best step at that time and in consultation with our senior medical staff.
Fortunately, there is optimistic coronavirus news.
A recent study from Imperial College London, initially claimed the virus could cause 510,000 deaths in Britain. But, as the data rolls in, the same source has substantially revised the numbers downward by 95%!
Social distancing works. We should continue to practice it in the short term. That means being mindful in interactions with others.
However, we accept a certain amount of risk every day. We drive on the freeway, cross busy intersections, live in an earthquake zone, and conduct business as usual during a robust flu season (which can kill hundreds of thousands).
Finally, there is a bit of a silver lining in all of this. We have pulled together as a community; neighbors are checking in with neighbors; random acts of thoughtfulness, and civilities are more plentiful; offers of help pour into the Emergency Operations Center. -
I am proud to represent such an active community.
With that, I wish each of you good health and prosperity.