Our area in Virginia has entered into Phase I of reopening as the good news about the SARS‐CoV‐2 (COVID‐19) outbreak continues. New cases have trended down and the mortality rate has stabilized. With the re-opening, masks are now required in public.
With Phase I re-opening, you need to remember that social distancing measures are more important now than ever. The virus is still out there, and with people going out and doing more, there will be more chances of transmission and a spike in new cases. In fact, Washington, DC, reported a spike in coronavirus cases Monday, pushing back the city’s timetable for moving to the second phase of reopening additional businesses and public spaces.
Please continue with your social distancing, masks in public, cough into your sleeve, wash your hands frequently, and try not to touch your face. This will keep the success going.
As I write this blog though, the tragedy unfolding around the death of George Floyd is overwhelming my thoughts. Yesterday was “blackout day” and I couldn’t post this blog then. We are at the beginning of June, and who would have imagined six months ago our country would be where we are today. Locked down by the SARS‐CoV‐2 virus, devastated by near record unemployment – with communities of color disproportionately impacted, and now this tragedy on top of all that. Fear. Anxiety. Anger. Desperation. These are the moods of the moment. They have driven people to the streets, bound into a movement, draped in hopelessness. People remember the lives lost: Breonna Taylor, Laquan McDonald, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Clinton Allen, Jordan Edwards, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Botham Jean, Amadou Diallo – just to name a few. Violence is not the answer. I know the majority of police are good people, but the video of George Floyd’s death may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back laying bare the institutional racism our country must face and change. Peaceful protest can be helpful and effective. In some communities, police have even kneeled with protesters and engaged with smiles instead of rubber bullets. I don’t know the answer on what to do or where we go from here, but we need to change somehow and in some way, because the current situation is not sustainable.
Please stay safe.