As we say goodbye to 2020, I know that many of us are still apprehensive about what the next year holds in store for our families, friends, colleagues and our community. The past year was filled with unimaginable challenges, but as I have said before I am so very proud of our community, businesses, and our City of Napa employees for demonstrating the very best of Napa through the upheaval and tragedy of 2020.
As we have seen in the recent weeks, disturbing news about our ICU capacity and the continued growth in COVID-19 cases call us to continue demonstrating diligence in practicing the safe habits we know can help fight this virus – wearing a mask, washing our hands, maintaining 6 feet of distance and avoiding gatherings.
Despite the surge we are currently facing, we have reason to be hopeful. I am happy to report that some of Napa’s first responders and health care workers have already received the vaccine, with more doses being distributed every week. Even before the vaccine arrived, our employees were dedicated to finding ways to continue necessary operations, and were creative in finding ways to adapt their work environments so we could continue providing excellent service to our community. Our partners at Napa County Public Health have doggedly fought to provide the tools needed to take care of our residents, and our schools continue to support our children in ways unimaginable just a year ago. I am in constant awe of our community and its ability to persevere and adapt. We’ve made incredible strides, from a global level to right here in our homes, to combat the COVID-19 virus and return to life as we once knew it. And while we are getting closer, we cannot relax our efforts just yet.
I had the opportunity to read Travis Stanley’s Letter to the Editor in the Napa Valley Register (“Wake Up, Everybody” – December 19, 2019). Travis is a trusted friend and his letter speaks to who we are as a community. I found great appreciation for the letter and particularly for the line that reads, “….we have the power to change the world - just you and me - with the individual actions we take each and every day.” I asked myself what I will do to change the world. The answer I came up with, and I invite you to join me, is that I will personally do everything in my power to not create an added burden on our local health care system. My goal is to stay out of the hospital and not take up an ICU bed that your mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and children might need.
Unfortunately, 2021 is not a mile marker denoting the end of our challenges. The year ahead will remain difficult, our businesses will continue to struggle, and the City’s finances will likely not fully recover for several years. But I know that if we all can ask ourselves what individual actions we can take to make 2021 a positive year, our community will find our way through this and arrive, ultimately, in a better, stronger future.
Thank you for your support. I wish you all hope and health in the new year.