A MESSAGE TO OUR RC COMMUNITY - UPDATE #8 (5/05/20)
“The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.”
Thomas Edison

In this modern world where we have come to expect answers, information and responses nearly instantaneously, the COVID-19 virus has exposed many weaknesses, not the least of which is in many cases a deficiency of “stick-to-itiveness” or persistence. Thomas Edison famously told people he learned 1,000 ways not to invent the light bulb over the three years he worked at it.  The first major polio epidemic in the United States occurred in the summer of 1894. It would be over 50 years later, not until 1953, that a polio vaccine was developed and later rolled out nationwide. The common thread to these stories is persistence. Persistence is the ability, stubbornness or will power to get up over and over. We often think of this as resilience or how well you can deal with and bounce back from the difficulties of life. It can mean the difference between handling pressure and losing your cool. Resilient people tend to maintain a more positive outlook and cope with stress more effectively. They keep trying and are not easily discouraged by setbacks.   
  
The recent COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, or exposed in us, the three essentials Thomas Edison wrote about many years ago. The last eight weeks have been hard work. Whether at home working remotely while trying to homeschool your children, leaving the house each day to report as an essential worker, or fighting the crowds at the grocery store to bring home toilet paper and cleaning products, it was not an easy March or April. Preserving our mental and physical health has required enormous effort. Flattening the curve of infection seems easy to understand and yet it has been incredibly hard. Our minds struggle to persist in what we know we need to do and what we long to do and this causes stress and anxiety which manifests itself differently for each of us. For some we toss and turn all night, others we reach for another snack, sometimes we undeservedly snap at someone we love. In our ongoing commitment to assisting our community members in their efforts to maintain both their mental health and physical health while staying at home – the City has a number of resources listed on its  Mental Health  and Virtual Recreation Center web pages. 
 
The Statewide Stay-at-Home Order is working to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 virus and to spread out how many people are sick and seeking treatment at any one time. Meanwhile, the State’s economy has fallen into a deep recession, leaving millions of workers jobless. In the six weeks since the Stay-at-Home orders, the State of California has experienced more than 2.7 million claims for unemployment. With nonessential businesses closed and millions unemployed, revenues for California cities have plummeted. According to data released by the League of California Cities, cities statewide are projecting a nearly $7 billion general revenue shortfall over the next two fiscal years. This shortfall will grow by billions of dollars the longer the Stay at Home orders remain in place. 
 
With this in mind, the City Council will be considering a resolution at it’s meeting on Wednesday, May 6, to address two disasters: the COVID-19 Pandemic and the resulting economic recession. It urges the Governor and the State to provide, no later than May 22, 2020, a clearly defined, multi-phased plan for the reopening of businesses in California, including specific dates and timetables. The resolution also urges the State to provide additional flexibility within the State Health Order to allow different regions and subregions of the State and different types of businesses to safely reopen at differing speeds based on risk determination and health data metrics. The resolution makes it clear that the Rancho Cucamonga City Council recognizes the need for physical distancing and limit large gatherings in order to minimize the spread of COVID-19; however, it is also recognized that this sudden and deep recession is having a devastating effect on the lives of Californians. 
 
On Monday, May 4, 2020 Governor Newsom provided an update on implementing Stage 2 of the roadmap to reopening, which is a start, but the current plan lacks specifics.​ Later this week the State will hopefully release the official guidance for certain Stage 2 sectors including some retail, manufacturing, and logistics businesses. We are anxiously awaiting these guidelines and making preparations to support our businesses to reopen as quickly and safely as possible.   
 
We are on our way to reopening and with that it might be easy to forget the habits that we have created over the months of March and April. Forget our face coverings at home. Forget to wash our hands several times a day and thinking that surely just one or two feet away from someone is fine. It is now that our habits and commitment to resilience, to persistence, will be put to the test. As the road to reopening begins, that does not mean the work to flattening the curve stops, the virus is not gone. We are now at a point where local hospitals have the capacity to handle more patients who may contract the virus and experience symptoms. As the world reopens, people will contract COVID-19 but it will also build immunity and antibodies to the virus which is important as well.  
  
Will San Bernardino County see a rebound and a second spike as things reopen? Not if we all continue to practice the commonsense habits which got us here in relatively short order. Patience is still the watch word. Time is neither here nor there if we lose the will to continue the hard work. We stuck with it this far. Let’s not give up so soon. Protect yourself and others and cultivate resilience. Together we will turn the page to a new and better tomorrow. And remember, whether a vaccine for COVID-19 is developed by year end, or in 50 years as with the polio vaccine, the ravages of the coronavirus do not, cannot, and will not define us here in Rancho Cucamonga. We are #RCStrong.