Dear San Gabriel Community,
This has been a difficult week and we know that the situation will get worse before it gets better. Many of us are feeling anxious, afraid, uncertain, sad, bewildered and even angry. You are not alone. I share those feelings, too. We all do.
But now is not the time to let those emotions overwhelm us. Now is the time to hunker down and to focus. In fact, now is a critical time to minimize our social contacts to minimize the severity of this outbreak. What we do now is critically important if we are going to avoid the same consequences that we see playing out in Italy and other places.
Last week, based upon the available scientific evidence, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has issued an order for us all to go into the next phase of social distancing, a phase that we are calling “Safer At Home.” You can read the full, revised order and access other useful information and updates on LA County’s new COVID-19 website here.
Under this order, through at least April 19th, only Essential Businesses (as defined in the order) in LA County will remain open, all groups should be limited to less than 10 and, of course, social distancing of 6 feet should be maintained at all times when out. Grocery stores, gas stations and banks will remain open. Restaurants and businesses that serve food can stay open for takeout, drive thru or delivery. The list of Essential Businesses is long so be sure to read the list in the full order.
In addition, we can all still go outside and enjoy the outdoors whether for a walk, or a run, or a bike ride, and we are in fact encouraged to do so. LA County has provided a simple list of do’s and dont’s which can be found in this infographic.
I assure you that we are all in this together and we will get through this together. I also want to emphasize that social distancing does NOT need to mean social isolation. Feel free to reach out to your friends and family via phone or internet. Check in with each other and show support to those you love. In difficult times like this, a text, a call, a DM or an offer to help an elderly neighbor might be all it takes. In fact, we have seen many examples of kindness towards neighbors and offers to get food, medicine or supplies for those who cannot go out on their own throughout our community. I encourage you to share those stories so we can celebrate these people as local heroes.
And speaking of local heroes, I want to especially thank our first responders and health care workers – our doctors, our nurses, our police officers, our firefighers and all those who are on the front lines of this battle. They are risking their own health and the health of their families to keep the rest of us healthy and safe. They are true local heroes and we should all give them our thanks and show our appreciation by staying at home when we can.
I also want to assure you that our supply chains and infrastructure are strong and we are not concerned about a shortage of food or clean drinking water. Stores will be re-stocked and our water supply is not in jeopardy. Panic-buying and hoarding only makes a bad situation worse and creates more tension and unnecessary shortages. It can also lead to illegal price gouging by the unscrupulous. One or two weeks supply of food and supplies is all you need at any given time. Please remember, everyone will be able to get groceries or other necessities at any time.
Finally, I want to warn everyone to be wary about scams. Scams via phone, scams via the internet and even scams via door-to-door knocking have been proliferating. Please protect yourselves and ignore the scams.
Every level of government is working hard to manage this outbreak and I want to thank you all for your calm, cooperation and patience. It is, no doubt, a difficult time but it is temporary and it is a fight for the common good. The more we cooperate with social distancing and Safer At Home, the better it will be for all of us.
Thank you and stay healthy and safe,