|The Lookout Letter to the editor|
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By Santa Monica Mayor Sue Himmelrich
It wasn’t so long ago -- nine interminable months -- that we learned a new concept called “social distancing” and that if we stayed at home, we could save the lives of family, friends, and neighbors with preexisting health conditions and others vulnerable to a new disease called coronavirus or COVID-19.
Now it’s the end of a year defined by a pandemic none of us could have ever imagined. And it has gotten worse. Much, much worse. And while the risk has never been greater, our brave essential workers kiss their families and head out the door every day.
They answer 9-1-1 calls, transfer patients to area hospitals, and patrol our neighborhoods. They transport essential workers on the Big Blue Bus, design safe bike lanes, and keep our beloved farmers markets open.
Every decision to have a holiday gathering with people outside our household -- no matter how safe we think it may be -– is making everyone’s situation more dire. People are dying and more will die. So remember, it is in OUR hands. This is a people-driven problem and we, the people, can end it if we follow the advice of scientists and doctors.
I hope you’ll join me in closing out 2020 with overflowing gratitude for everyone risking their lives in an essential role. I also am asking for a redoubled effort to do the right thing and stay home for healthcare workers and a healthcare system now stretched far beyond its capacity.
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