Like many of you, I watched the Mayor’s press conference yesterday at 3:00 p.m. anxiously anticipating the next steps our city might take to try to control the spread of the novel coronavirus.
First, the Mayor rightfully expressed her frustration with this weekend’s large crowds on Bourbon Street and the St. Patty’s Day gathering in the Irish Channel that disobeyed the Governor’s order. Younger residents were reminded that the virus can easily be spread in crowded areas and then passed along unwittingly to more vulnerable populations – a critical point, no doubt.
Equally important, was the subtle reminder by Council members that people (of any age) with underlying health conditions, as well as our older friends, loved ones and neighbors really need our help, so they can stay home. Frankly, this point has not been stressed enough in my opinion. Over the past week, I have come to realize many seniors and high risk populations do not appreciate the significant risk they are undertaking when they go to the grocery, have a low key dinner with friends, care for grandchildren, attend birthday parties, or share in a communal meal like boiled crawfish, which to be incredibly honest, is a bad idea at any age given the circumstances.
Many of our seniors are active, don’t think of themselves as vulnerable and may need to be reminded. I have spent the last week sending text messages with offers to help, or deliver groceries (packaging must be wiped after). I implore you to do the same.
Schools are closed for several weeks and parents will not be able to work. Businesses will suffer, which means people will suffer. We all have to do our part. If we don’t get control of this public health crisis quickly, seriously drastic measures will be necessary.