Warren C. Evans, Wayne County Executive
The holidays are now upon us once again, and many of us in Wayne County are conditioned to look forward to what we always do this time of year: partaking in annual traditions, enjoying much needed rest from work, and spending time with friends and family.
Unfortunately, this holiday season will look a bit different due to the ongoing public health crisis. It’s critically important that each of us do our part and continue taking precautions to keep ourselves and loved ones safe. The last thing we want is to take unnecessary risks now only to face much darker days in late December and into the New Year.
This has been a tough time for all of us — many of our family members and neighbors are out of work, small businesses are hurting, and everyone from our young people to our seniors is anxious to return to “normal.” The reality is that Wayne County alone has lost more than 3,000 lives at the hands of this deadly virus. We must all be vigilant and look out for one another before more lives are needlessly lost.
I urge you to continue following public health guidance from the Governor, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We must continue to show our respect for everyone’s health and safety by wearing a mask when out in public settings; avoiding unnecessary trips out to keep frontline workers healthy; observing physical distancing to stay at least 6ft apart from others; and of course, as always, washing our hands often and well. We cannot become lax on these best practices just because we’re tired of them. The lives of those we love are on the line.
I urge residents to be smart about the very real consequences of going over to a relative’s house for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or any other social gatherings. Traditional crowded meals indoors are not safe and should be avoided with those not in your household. Consider “meeting” up with your loved ones on Google Meet or Zoom to eat “together” or enjoy a game of trivia virtually with one another. Another option is heading to your backyard or a public park, bundling up as we Michiganders are known to do, to have a physically-distanced gathering safely. While these alternatives aren’t the same as past years, we want to make sure all of our loved ones can enjoy celebrations next year and beyond.
Our local small businesses also need our continued support through these trying times. I urge you to do any holiday shopping locally with the small businesses right in our community. Doing so boosts our local businesses, and by extension our neighbors, and will help keep them afloat throughout this crisis and for years to come.
Our community has what it takes to get through challenging periods. Our spirit did not waiver during the Great Recession or through crises. Wayne County is a community of perseverance — one that does not despair in the face of adversity but confronts challenges with innovation and optimism. That is how we will pull through this crisis also.
We will get through these trying times, and I appreciate your continued sacrifice and vigilance to keep all of our residents safe. I know this past year and what’s ahead has not been easy, but together we can get through this and rebuild even better than we were before. Thank you for doing your part.