We followed the orders, we flattened the curve, and we changed the way we live, work and play. There has been a great deal of tragedy to go along with why we are sheltered in place; the United States has lost more than 100,000 people to this virus that still does not have a vaccine.
We have all learned the importance of hygiene: washing our hands constantly, using hand sanitizer, and wearing gloves and masks. While there may be some resistance to wearing a mask in public, it can also be seen as way to acknowledge that so many have made sacrifices during this time and even risk their lives trying to deal with this invisible killer.
Some people feel that masks are uncomfortable or believe that they just don’t work, but we must remember the point of wearing them is to protect others – especially our loved ones. Wearing a mask is also sign of solidarity, acknowledging that we are all in this together.
The most common question I get is, “When are we going to get open?” City staff and I have been working closely with local business owners and the county to help them navigate next steps. The state of California seems to be moving at a faster pace than some of the Bay Area counties, especially Contra Costa, but our health officials are being cautious. We need to continue to take a conservative approach to opening so that we can reduce our chances of having to go through all of this again.
The good news is that many businesses are open, albeit with a number of limitations. That means we need to change the way we do things; adjusting our expectations of the customer experience is something we are all going to have to embrace. We can still shop local and get food from our favorite restaurants, but it will either be curbside pickup or curbside dining in the coming weeks. We are working on creative solutions to help restaurants move into the next stages of reopening, and I will continue to stress the importance of going out and supporting your local favorites.
You can find a list of local restaurants (#ConcordEats) and businesses that are open at Concordfirst.com.
So many are making efforts to pivot during this “now” normal, and that includes us at the city of Concord. From virtual City Council meetings, Facebook Live concerts and cooking shows to virtual recreations, we are all trying to find ways to come together while being apart. While the Music & Market Series is canceled for the summer of 2020, we are still working on options for highlighting local entertainment that you can enjoy virtually.
The big news is that Concord’s July 4th festivities are still on, but going virtual, and everyone can participate. This year, we will hold a virtual neighbor parade along with local music starting at 5 p.m. on Concord TV or streamed live from Facebook and YouTube. Anyone can be a part of the parade by submitting a video of their very own 4th of July float, bike, wagon or any creative entry parading down your own street. For more information and how to submit an entry, visit concordjuly4th.com.
Finally, I want to thank every resident in the city of Concord for doing your part, for staying home when necessary, for making donations, for volunteering and for being resilient.
Mayor Tim McGallian can be reached at 925.671.2489 or email Tim.McGallian@cityofconcord.org