Public Comment

Pitching In

Thomas Lord
Friday March 13, 2020 - 03:42:00 PM

Based on empirically based projections of how the virus will spread, on the experience of other countries and cities, and on what I think I know about the structure of our society, I have some suggestions.

We are entering a period when our collective well-being depends on volunteerism and pitching in.

Assume that there is a good chance public schools will be shut down, but may need help serving students who are unhoused and/or lack alternative child care.

Prepare for the possibility that most businesses will be closed temporarily, but please do not competitively hoard and please try to avoid shopping in big weekend and evening crowds. If you are a landlord, be prepared to take some losses and don't initiate evictions.

If you have IT skills of the right kind, please find ways to organize and help the City keep communications and public process open even if public meetings must be more or less ended. Are you competent to help with streaming? Teleconferencing? Rapid turn-around on web sites? Forums, mailing lists, and so forth? The City IT dept. lacks the capacity to step up as much as is needed here.

As you prepare your own households, keep in mind that many will not. If you are able, prepare to help others.

Be aware that the Bay Area is one of the ground zeroes. Be aware that we are unlikely to “much” limit the number of people who become infected but we can slow it down.

We *must* work to slow the spread down because otherwise our health care system will likely be overwhelmed sooner rather than later. That will mean that people who go to the ER with otherwise survivable conditions (virus or otherwise) will be allowed to die in a triage process.

Wash your hands etc. :-)