Farragut mayor reflects on COVID-19 year, stresses ‘five core actions’ for ’21

This weekend, we say goodbye and good riddance to 2020. While we’re all hoping that 2021 will be an improvement, it will take a new level of commitment to bring about the changes we want.

I know that I’m not alone when I say I’m tired of social distancing, wearing a mask, washing my hands and sanitizing. But, in spite of my COVID fatigue, I’m going to keep doing these things. I’ll do them because these behaviors protect my community, and I love my community.

Staying safe is harder than it’s ever been. Now that the days are short and winter weather is upon us, it’s more difficult to stay active and see friends and family. Many of us didn’t get to travel or do other traditional holiday activities, and that left us feeling isolated and anxious. I understand that everyone is weary of doing the right thing, especially when the situation isn’t improving.

But it’s more important than ever that we stay vigilant. Local COVID numbers spiked after Thanksgiving, and other spikes will likely follow Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. To keep our hospitals from being overwhelmed, we have to do our part to prevent the spread of COVID. That means continuing with the five core actions—social distancing, wearing a face covering, hand washing, sanitizing surfaces and staying home while sick—until our numbers flatten out.

Following these recommendations isn’t a political statement or a choice that you make to protect your own health. It’s a prescription for keeping your neighbors and family members out of the hospital.

I’m optimistic that the new vaccines will ultimately mean that we can safely return to many of the activities that we enjoy, but it will be several months before everyone who wants a vaccine can get one.

Until then, please keep up the hard work of being safe. We are in the home stretch of the race now, and we don’t want to slow down until we’ve crossed the finish line.

Farragut Mayor Ron Williams