Right now, we are all feeling concern, anxiety, and confusion about the spread of the coronavirus. It’s entirely understandable. This is an unprecedented situation, both in the nature of the public health challenge and in the steps we are taking to protect our residents.
That’s why I wanted to address the people of Boston, and anyone else who needs some reassurance right now. We must remember: we are not powerless—and you are not alone.
In my address last night, I talked about what our city has done to be prepared, and how we’ll continue to work together to keep the people of Boston healthy and safe. I talked about the extensive measures we’ve taken to declare a Public Health Emergency; to close our schools, libraries, and community centers; to continue to follow the guidance of public health officials; and to keep the people of Boston updated and informed every step of the way.
We are doing everything we can right now to stop and slow the spread of this virus to prevent our health care systems from being overwhelmed. But we can’t do it alone. We need everyone’s help in this effort.
Every single one of us has a crucial responsibility to protect the people we share our city with, especially the most vulnerable. The actions all of us take now will save lives. So remember:
Keep washing with soap and sanitizing your hands throughout the day.
Keep wiping down surfaces with disinfectant.
Keep covering your coughs and sneezes.
And above all, avoid crowds, maintain a distance of at least six feet from other people, and stay home as much as possible.
We need everyone to limit their contact with each other right now. This is the social distancing that we are learning to practice together as a city. It’s a proven method to prevent the rapid spread of the coronavirus and protect those most at risk from it.
I know, none of this is easy. Our routines are suddenly interrupted. Our plans are put on hold. We’re missing people and feeling lonely. Some working people are losing paychecks, worried about bills, and struggling with childcare. And through it all: many of the people we want to wrap our arms around the most, are the very people we must keep at arm’s length, for their own safety.
These experiences present unique challenges to the shared strength and solidarity that we need in times like this. How do we come together, so that social distance doesn’t become social isolation? How do we draw on our shared strength, if we can’t share space? How do we take care of each other, lift each other’s spirits, and get through this together as One Boston?
I’ve seen the answer growing in our city, faster than a virus can spread. Bostonians are coming together in a thousand ways, to take care of our most vulnerable neighbors. Nonprofits and city agencies are mobilizing food access points. Every day residents and small businesses are reaching out to my office and to their neighbors, with offers of food and resources. People are postponing elective surgeries, in order to free up hospital beds. Workers are taking extra shifts to clean and sanitize workplaces and public areas.
And hundreds of donors, large and small, have come together with the City to form the Boston Resiliency Fund: a resource to feed children, seniors, low-income workers, and families in need; and to provide child care to first responders and healthcare personnel who are staying on the job to protect us, while their children are home.
I’ve never been more proud to be the Mayor of this incredible city. I want to thank you for the sacrifices you are making right now. By taking these precautions, you are showing you care about your neighbors and our city.
And, I’m asking everyone to go a step further. Reach out to a neighbor; to a senior; to someone with a medical condition; to a parent. Share my message of hope across the city and beyond. We’re going to be feeling the social and economic impacts of this crisis for some time. We’re going to have to keep relying on each other.
I learned in my own recovery that to keep your peace of mind, sometimes you’ve got to share it with someone else. And you can get through anything, one day at a time.
These are not ordinary times in our city. But there is nothing ordinary about Boston. Bostonians are resilient, forged in hard times, and committed to a higher purpose. There’s nothing we can’t do when we stand together. We possess the strength and spirit to get through any challenge we face. We are Boston Strong. And with vigilance and patience, with empathy and love, we will get through this, together.
And here are some ways to get the latest updates and information about how the City of Boston is responding to the coronavirus:
- Visit the city’s website at boston.gov/coronavirus
- Call the city’s hotline at 3-1-1
- Text BOSCOVID to 99411 to get regular updates by text message
Thank you as always,