The coronavirus pandemic has fundamentally altered our way of life for the past several months. It has placed many businesses in serious financial jeopardy or worse, forced others to close. It has impacted our children’s education by requiring distance learning that doesn’t compare to what an in person teacher can provide. It has also taken an emotional toll as every student and recent graduate missed ceremonies and rites of passage many of us hold dear. I recognize these disappointments but know the most tragic global impact, is the death of 607,746 (at the time of writing this). Even the one death here in Nevada County is one too many. As we face our own challenges, I implore each of you to take a moment to pause and pay tribute to every person no longer with us and all the moments their friends and family will miss.
I understand and have deep compassion for folks all across this county navigating the controversy of wearing masks, closing down businesses, keeping businesses open, fining people, loosening up restrictions – you name it, I have heard it and I understand. I truly believe that for each of these points of view, there is almost always a good point to be considered and valued. I appreciate the trust my constituents placed in me when sharing their concerns and I hope this trust is extended when I share the truth of where we are now. With cases rising quickly, surge capacity being threatened, and God forbid, the chances of more deaths - we must resist the temptation of allowing our differences to further divide us. We need to work together more than ever.
I can do everything that our Public Health Department tells me to do, and all it takes is one person to sneeze on me while waiting in line at the grocery store, and now I very well may become the next person to infect someone – and what if that person is my mother, sister or husband? I urge us to demonstrate compassion for our fellow community members – whether that be someone wearing a mask, someone who is sick, an owner trying to keep their business open, or a waitress trying to make living.
At a recent meeting, our Interim Health Officer Dr. Johnson said it best–we can have all the restrictions we want, but if we can’t actually implement the things that will actually slow the spread of this disease, then our case count is doomed to keep rising – which most certainly means businesses having to close longer, our healthcare system becoming stretched to the limits, and sadly more folks sick or dead.
So let’s do what we have always done here – what makes Nevada County great- let’s band together and show compassion to one another, no matter the star or stripe, flag or banner, and work together to heed the safety precautions that our experts are urging us to take. Let’s show our freedom by doing what’s right – wear a mask to save a life and acknowledge that we are all in this together. So, let’s roll up sleeves and get to work.