One of the most important things you can do on this earth
is to let people know they are not alone.
~ Shannon L. Alder
You may not control all the events that happen to you,
but you can decide not to be reduced by them.
~ Maya Angelou
These two quotes spoke to me as I contemplated what to write in this letter.
I first want you to know that you are most certainly not alone. Because we must practice social distancing and abide by the Mayor’s Executive Order to stay in our homes, I know feelings of isolation can start to weigh heavily on us. In times like these we should remember that there are people out there who love us. There are people out there that want to be able to give you a big hug and tell you everything is going to be ok, and I extend that hug to you today. I believe we must take solace that the will is there even if we are not able to physically do so.
You are not alone, we are in this together, all of us.
What I know to be true is that when push comes to shove, the City of Angels is one of community, hope, and love, and no amount of physical separation will break this spirit, a spirit I feel from our city on a daily bases even before this emergency. It is this communal spirit that called me to public service in the first place. This is what will carry us through to a time when we can once again be in each other’s company. Until then, as best we can, look out for each other, help each other, give comfort to each other, and do the things that are meant to keep each other safe.
I know it is uncomfortable to have to give up control of your daily lives and the uncertainty that comes with it. It is a shock to our systems to not be able to do the things we routinely do but this should pass for most of us as we develop new routines. In general, what I believe we need to do is to decide we will make the best of this situation. That we will find ways to cope with this sudden new reality we find ourselves in. I know we are strong enough to not be reduced by this, and the responsible decisions you initiate today and tomorrow will make a tangible difference to the safety and well-being of yourself and your neighbors.
The Mayor’s “Safe-At-Home” Executive Order
I cannot stress enough that his order is meant to keep you safe and to attempt to mitigate the burdens we are going to have to bear individually and as a community. You can find a copy of the Order at tinyurl.com/LAMayorExecOrder, a FAQ from the city as to what this all means at corona-virus.la/faq, and a FAQ from the CDC at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html about the virus and safety guidelines. All valuable information I encourage you to review, however, there is quite a bit of information so I would like to only go over some basics if I may.
In plain language, our Mayor is not playing around with this and you should take this as seriously as he does. As of midnight last night, “Failure to comply with this Order shall constitute a misdemeanor subject to fines and imprisonment. I hereby urge the Los Angeles Police Department and the City Attorney to vigorously enforce this Order via Sections 8.77 and 8.78 of the Los Angeles Administrative Code.” ~ Mayor’s Executive Order
This is from the Mayor’s FAQ:
Residents of the City of Los Angeles are required to stay inside their homes unless they are engaged in certain “essential activities.” On those occasions when you are out of your home for necessary tasks, stay at least six feet away from others.
YOU CAN …
- Go to the grocery, convenience or warehouse store
- Go to the pharmacy to pick up medications and other healthcare necessities
- Go to medical appointments (check with your doctor or provider first)
- Go to a restaurant for take-out, delivery or drive-thru
- Care or support a friend or family member
- Take a walk, ride your bike, hike, jog and be in nature for exercise — just keep at least six feet between you and others in the community.
- Walk your pets and take them to the veterinarian if necessary
- Help someone to get necessary supplies
YOU SHOULD NOT …
- Go to work unless you are providing essential services as defined by this Order
- Visit friends and family if there is no urgent need
- Maintain less than 6 feet of distance from others when you go out
- Visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility, or other residential care facility
So why is all this necessary?
Estimations from the CDC suggest COVID-19 is 10x more severe than the yearly flus and is highly contagious. With the flu, we have flu shots and treatments that reduce the impact of these illnesses each year. However, when it comes to COVID-19, we do not have an immunity to it, enough testing kits, a vaccine to prevent it, nor a cure if contracted. This means we are all vulnerable.
Because the incubation period is between 2 days and 2 weeks, an infected person may not initially show symptoms and thereby unknowingly spread the virus. This makes it impossible to identify and separate these folks out until they recover so they don’t infect others. So the only reasonable thing to do, as I see it for now, is for everyone to stay at home and only go out if absolutely necessary.
The risk we run, because we are all vulnerable, is that too may of us will become ill and need medical attention. When we go beyond the capacity of our hospitals and clinics to care for all of those hit the hardest, our healthcare professionals will have to start making unfathomable decisions about who gets treatment and who does not. I cannot think of a worse situation to be in. By staying in our homes and reducing our risks of exposure to the virus, we are doing our part to ensure everyone who needs medical care gets it.
Here is a graphic to illustrate the effectiveness of social distancing and why it is so important.
What resources are available?
A friend at the County sent me a fantastic comprehensive resource list of services that you can find at tinyurl.com/LAResourceList. It covers just about everything you can imagine.
Additionally, there is something I would like to personally ask of you. Be vigilant for me. I need to know who is having a really rough time and may not be getting the services they need. I do not want a single person to suffer in silence. If the list is not helpful or if you have any questions, you can contact me at RampartVillage@gmail.com or directly at 323.799.8772. If I don’t have the answer, I will do everything I can to get the answer.
Right now, the RVNC is prohibited from meeting, even electronically. This prevents us from being able to discuss strategies or take official actions. Once we are given the go ahead, we will act as swiftly as possible to bring whatever resources we have to bear.
You are not alone. We are in this together. We will refuse to be reduced. The spirit of Los Angeles is in our hearts. We will keep each other safe.
Rachael Rose Luckey, President
Rampart Village Neighborhood Council