By Mayor Brian M. Arrigo
Today we find ourselves in the midst of historic peril. Nothing that has come before can be compared in breadth and expected duration of the Covid-19 pandemic that has gripped the world. It is understandable that people are anxious and worried, but no one should feel helpless.
We are reminded that our greatest defense to the threat we face lies in our collective strength, and our collective efforts, to secure public health and safety. It is imperative that our residents join with civic leaders and public safety personnel so that we can steer our way through territory where no one has ventured before.
During these first weeks of what is predicted to be a months-long ordeal, I have witnessed the fortitude and the determination of the people in our city who comprehend the gravity of the situation and have reacted accordingly. The people in our Public Health Department, our school department, our school nurses, and our emergency first-responders have united to address the needs of our entire community, especially our most vulnerable populations. Volunteers have lined up to join medical and municipal staff in helping the public.
Realizing what has already been accomplished, and anticipating the continuation of this response, I express a profound Thank You to all the people who have done so much so quickly.
Their efforts have produced, for example, a meal distribution plan for our school children and a viable plan for remote access to the public workplace for municipal employees. We have established a Response Team to address logistics, facility maintenance, supplies, and the financial management of our City. We are working with private businesses that can provide needed physical space and access as additional steps are rolled out to attack the virus.
Meanwhile, City health personnel are in constant communication with state and federal officials to assure that Revere complies with guidelines imposed by the higher echelons of government. Our Inspectional Services Department and Police Department are actively monitoring public gathering places and facilities to enforce state-imposed limitations and to discourage casual recreational gathering that, in the circumstances, can be risky.
In many situations, Revere’s readiness and response to Covid-19 outpaces neighboring communities. The School Department is equipped to implement remote learning while schools are closed. Our Senior Center quickly made arrangements for the delivery of meals for many of our elder residents and will coordinate with Revere TV to telecast recreational activities so that our seniors can enjoy home-based exercise and activity. We are maximizing the use of our City of Revere website www.revere.org and social media to continuously update our residents with advice and direction. All of these efforts will continue until the threat subsides.
Although the doors to City Hall are closed for the time being, the city’s work continues. We have availed ourselves of modern technology to continue the fundamental functions of government such as regular meetings of legislative bodies, though in a virtual format. Almost all staff is equipped with the resources and ability to access their office computers from home. Much of the conduct of city business such as paying bills or requesting services can be accomplished online through the City website or the Revere311 app. (Revere 311-App is available on Google Play and the App Store). Secure lockboxes will be set up so that residents who are uncomfortable with online transactions can pay their municipal bills without having to come into City Hall.
The City of Revere always has enjoyed its reputation as a feisty, close-knit community, where people take care of each other and are unafraid to confront any challenge. When a neighbor is in need, the neighborhood unifies into a strong support system. The Revere instinct is to help, and we are seeing that as Covid-19 invades our community. Volunteers have stepped up and offered their skills, time, resources and energy to supplement the civic response. Residents who want to join the effort can sign up at www.Revere.org.
No one knows where the Covid-19 pandemic will lead. The threat is new, and every step we take to combat it is new. One thing we know for sure is that we are doing everything in our power to deal with this situation.
Every resident is enlisted into this battle, and the most effective way to fight the virus is to follow the guidelines that have been publicized over and over since this situation began: Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, stay home if at all possible even if you are not ill, and absolutely stay home if you are ill. I cannot emphasize enough that self-imposed quarantine and social distancing is the one most reliable antidote, and that’s a sure way to curb the spread of the virus.
As with any trek into unexplored terrain, clear-sighted planning and careful steps, taken together, will see us to our destination. Be careful, be caring to each other, and work together. Together, we will get through this.
By Mayor Brian M. Arrigo