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A Letter To Our Community

To our neighbors, colleagues, and friends:

We are living in an unprecedented time where our world, our nation, and our community, is faced with the threat of an international pandemic known as COVID-19. This novel virus is unlike any flu or disease we have seen in modern times, and has the potential to devastate our population. I have said all along, it is not a matter of IF such a virus hits our community, but WHEN it hits our community. I take the lives of everyone with the upmost gravity and will take whatever precautions necessary to ensure the safety and wellbeing of every resident. With that being said, there is no playbook, handbook, or guide to dealing with this pandemic. We are forced to take drastic measures to limit the spread and protect our people. Naysayers may point to statistics to claim that this virus is non-threatening, but that’s why we do what we do, to make sure these statistics stay low. I continue to encourage people to stay home, stay safe, and do not panic, because we are not out of turbulent waters yet.

However, the incredible thing about Jamestown is that we are a resilient community. No matter what obstacles are placed in our way, we overcome and conquer. Never have I seen a City come together so quickly to respond to the challenges we face. When times get tough, we get creative. I write this letter to our community to talk about the incredible things I have witnessed the past few weeks.

When we closed restaurants and bars across the City, our local businesses owners did not give up. Restaurants that have never served a takeout meal quickly converted to curbside delivery. Others got creative and started selling ready to take and make meals. And our community embraced this and continues to support our small businesses despite all of the obstacles.

When our schools closed across the City, our public schools did not just turn kids loose on the street. Our District created a unique model to ensure young children were cared for while parents worked and that every child had access to two meals a day. Not to mention teachers worked around the clock and found a way to ensure our students still continued to get an education while at home.

When our workforce was reduced and people were sent home, our community did not falter. Instead, organizations have stepped up to create volunteer corps and emergency funds to help one another. Instead of keeping to ourselves, we started checking in on elderly neighbors and ensuring our community had the basic necessities to survive.

When our businesses starting closing to reduce the spread, we all knew how difficult it would be in the short term. However, my heart is warmed by the number of calls from businesses offering space to house our sick, our volunteers, or provide assistance to whoever needs it for when things get rough.

I mean it when I say Jamestown is resilient, a community that gives of itself even in the toughest of times. I implore everyone to stay strong during this time. We are all in this together, and this crisis has shown that our community will persevere no matter what life throws at it. We will survive. We will endure. Together, we are Jamestown.

Mayor Eddie Sundquist is mayor of the city of Jamestown.

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