O’FALLON, MO. – Mayor Bill Hennessy’s letter to his city acknowledges that the coronavirus pandemic has changed all of our lives. He says that others will perish as this disease spreads. The community should prepare as the outbreak gets worse before it gets better.
Stay-at-home orders have been issued in St. Charles County. People are only to leave their homes for essential activities.
Read the full letter here:
My Fellow O’Fallon Residents:
This past month has changed our community’s trajectory as well as each of our own circumstances. It has shattered our illusion of invincibility. We are continuously bombarded by the frightening news of COVID19’s inevitable spread and the calamity of its economic consequences. Except for a few precious moments of distraction with my family, I know that I have thought of very little else and I am certain many of you are experiencing the same.
Fear and anger are natural by-products of the times in which we find ourselves. Our City is not accustomed to the notion of an uncertain outcome. In a community where strength is prized, vulnerability can be an uncomfortable realization. The reality is that we are likely weeks, not days, away from reaching the apex of the COVID-19 spread in our metro area. More people will get sick and, unfortunately, more people will perish.
We must prepare ourselves and our community to the fact that this will not end on the timeline we all would wish. It will get worse before it gets better. If you are a parent, comfort and shelter your kids from it. If you are a business owner, you must work to prepare your employees and make the difficult decisions ahead. If you are an individual who is vulnerable to the disease, please take the appropriate precautions.
In the coming weeks, I ask that you take that fear, and at times anger, and channel it into action. Look after your neighbor that you know is scared or vulnerable. Donate and volunteer when called upon. Stay informed, but do not obsess on the steady stream of talking heads. Be a source of calm and compassion. Be patient with your loved ones as we all handle stress differently. Find humor and, most importantly, find things for which to be grateful.
If you find that you must go out, please patronize those restaurants that are working hard to provide carry out and curbside services here in O’Fallon. There are dozens of locations to choose from and those owners and employees will be grateful for your business.
The numbers have shown that there is only a small percentage of the population that is at risk of severe illness, but we all will be impacted. The next thirty days will test our resiliency and character. Let us commit ourselves to compassionate action that will have us look back on this unprecedented time with a quiet sense of pride about the true character and resolve of our O’Fallon community.
Bill HennessyCity of O’Fallon, Missouri