In response to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Illinois and the St Louis area, the Southwestern Illinois Council of Mayors issued a statement in the form of an open letter to the public. The Council represents an area of some 60 municipalities in Jersey, Madison, Monroe, St Clair and surrounding counties. Mayors from throughout the region are urging residents to practice safety measures to eliminate the spread of the virus, including mask-wearing, social distancing, hand washing, avoiding large crowds, and staying home when not feeling well.
As we enter the holiday season, we naturally look forward to sharing time with family and friends. But in 2020, our traditions are being challenged like never before. In the face of real threat to our health and safety, the choices we face are difficult.
Masks can seem like a nuisance, but the need to wear them far outweighs any inconvenience if we are to prevent the spread of the Corona virus. Going without them is not a credible political statement. It disregards the safety of others.
Respect for the welfare of ourselves and others is a responsibility we must all commit to if we are to contain the spread of this deadly pandemic.
Each of us is called upon to lead by example, to share responsibility, and to show concern for the well-being of our fellow humans. Practicing social distancing and exercising other precautions are the only way to limit the spread of this virus. Our hospitals are already overwhelmed. Our businesses need to reopen and operate fully in order to support the many families that rely on them for their livelihood.
A united effort will ultimately get us through this crisis. In order to succeed, we will be required to continue making sacrifices – after the many sacrifices we have already endured. But we can do it, and hope is on the horizon with promising vaccines.
By working together, we can fight back against this pandemic and win. Towards that goal, we ask our fellow citizens to observe safe practices and to each do their individual parts.
President, Southwestern Illinois Council of Mayors
Mayor, City of Fairview Heights