Responding to

The future is not something we enter. The future is something we create."

Leonard I. Swee t
It's not surprising that the rates of COVID infection are beginning to climb as states being to reopen their economies. It was predicted. What was also predicted is that the spikes in new infections would be tied to how states manage their reopenings.

In states where social distancing practices and the requirement to wear masks have been lessened or completely set aside (or ignored), the rise in infections has been more dramatic than in those states where risk-reduction protocols have remained in place and people's adherence to those protocols have remained relatively consistent. As reported in this article in Sunday's New York Times , Arizona, Texas and Florida are reporting their highest rates of infections with coronavirus cases climbing in 22 states amid reopenings.

The mayor of Dallas said “I’m very concerned about it.” He noted that, after months of warnings and isolation, many residents had stopped wearing masks and maintaining social distance out of sheer fatigue. “They’ve been asked for quite some time to not be around people they love, and that they want to spend time with. Wearing a mask is not pleasant. And I think people are tired.” The article continues that, as of Saturday, the daily number of new coronavirus cases was shifting course from what had been downward trajectories in many places. The spikes are causing government leaders to consider difficult choices: accept the continued rise in infections as an expected cost of reopening their economies or consider slowing the lifting of restrictions aimed at stopping the spread or even imposing a new set of limits.

Given that people's behavior plays such a pivotal role in managing this disease and how infection rates play out, what does the future look like, at least for Santa Fe and Kitchen Angels?
If we remain vigilant and continue with the behaviors we know prevent the spread of the virus, the future here at home looks pretty good.

For example, a new initiative launched by a number of local businesses, Santa Fe Safe , will help make local businesses COVID-safe for customers and employees. Businesses will share best practices and resources, reassure employees, maintain appropriate practices to keep their customers and employees as safe as possible, and have access to a social media toolkit for reaching out to customers and community members. Businesses that participate will be required to make good on their promise of safety. Kitchen Angels has already asked for information on joining.

The City of Santa Fe has adopted Santa Fe Promise , a social contract that asks residents to commit to risk-reducing behaviors and supporting local businesses. The basis of the contract is the same as we've been hearing over and over for the past three months: responsible individual behavior is the key to stoping the spread.

Until the pandemic ends, Kitchen Angels will continue to adhere to the highest risk-reducing strategies we've been following successfully since the beginning. If, as the City and the State continue to slowly reopen, we remember that our actions have significant and wide ranging impacts, we will create a future grounded in resilience, thoughtfulness and community. It is, after all, everyone's future.

To each Kitchen Angels volunteer, thank you.

In gratitude,
Thank you for your vigilance. We want you to stay safe, healthy and informed.
If you want to return to volunteering . . .

. . . please first ask yourself if you are willing to adhere to our required social distancing protocols throughout all parts of your day, and not just while at Kitchen Angels.

In particular: 
  1. Am I able to work a full shift wearing a face mask?
  2. Can I hear well enough from six-feet away if the other person is speaking through a face mask?
  3. Am I willing to work a different shift than the one I previously worked?
  4. Can I commit to showing up to my shift on-time and without canceling at the last minute?
  5. Can I adapt to a new environment and new routine?
  6. Can I reliably communicate with the Volunteer Coordinator?
  7. Do I feel safe being back in the public sphere?

If you answer "NO" to any of these questions, you're not ready to return.