The mayor has been patting himself on the back for calling off school as early as he did and then for closing city hall the same way. He has told others in government and in the local media which has allowed him to praise himself for his leadership, these were tough decisions for him but that he had to take them and that now he was pleased with his actions.
Wonderful. What leadership he has shown in this instance.
The mayor would have residents believe he acted with the wisdom and the decisiveness of a Franklin Roosevelt or a Harry Truman. He did indeed close the schools and city hall.
He acted on the school closings before he left for Aruba.
The closure of city hall was a decision he made in Aruba and that was enforced from Aruba.
Bottom line, the mayor went on vacation and telephoned his decisions from his hotel room or on his cell phone from the beach.
Everett’s first responders, its police officers and firefighters and its Cataldo Ambulance service EMT’s are the first line of defense for residents and businesspeople terrorized about the coronavirus epidemic.
Very few of us can imagine the pressure felt by first responders who are more likely catch the virus than any of us.
Each time they answer the call, the chance for infection from the virus stalks them like a Grim Reaper.
They don’t have themselves only to think about. They have their wives and their children, their parents and brothers and sisters.
The virus is sinister in its ability to take someone very healthy and strong and in a matter of a few days, reduce them to a state of horrific illness, on to ventilators when they can’t breath, and finally to the funeral home shortly after that.
Many point out that the death rate isn’t so high.
The experts say you have a two in ten chance of dying which means you have a 80% chance of recovering.
These are good odds, unless you are a first responder.
The president has said 100,000 deaths from the virus would be a good figure.
It is not a good figure if you are one of those who die.
The president did not mean 100,000 deaths is good.
He meant it is far better than 1 million deaths or any number less than that.
Noontime Monday I took ride down Lewis Street to number 86, the home of Councilor Wayne Matewsky and his mother Marion.
Matewsky and his mother, and her caretaker, Celia O’Brien came onto the front porch for a photograph defining social distancing.
Marion Matewsky, in her 90’s, and O’Brien, both wearing masks, stood by one another for the photo. Wayne Matewsky stood below them next to the American flag.
Matewsky wasn’t wearing a facemask but he remained a good eight feet away from his mother and her caretaker.
We didn’t shake hands. We traded elbow hellos which has become a replacement for shaking hands.
This is how its done when you are paying attention to life in the age of Coronavirus.
“It is unimaginable our lives have come down to this,” said Wayne Matewsky. “How else are we going to beat this virus? Social distancing isn’t everything, but it is a big step toward containing the virus,” he said.
At other locations throughout the city, dozens of people in dozens of places worked close inside with one another or worked and shopped at large businesses.
At many food outlets that remained open – restaurants turned into food to go outlets – lots of people were coming and going, walking into the locations, picking up their plastic bags with food, and getting into their automobiles and driving away.
At home instruction under the management of the School Department and its staff of teachers, administrators and assistants is now underway to augment the closure of classroom instruction which began March 12 with real time video and audio instruction on the computer.
This effort is now underway with a free supply of Chromebook laptops now being distributed to parents of students for their use.
Free distribution of the laptops began Tuesday at the Encore site and was very well received by a steady stream of parents who picked up the computers in a drive through staffed by School Department employees and volunteers.
An estimated 7,000 Everett public school students are presently at home.
It is not known yet how such instruction will impact on state education department requirements for students to be deemed to have finished a school year.
At this moment, with the coronavirus spreading rapidly and the city, state and nation in lock down, the school department has been rushing to set-up virtual teaching for Everett students by their teachers to fill the void caused by the closure of the schools.