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A Message from the Mayor

Post Date:03/19/2020 4:05 PM

031920mayorA Message from the Mayor

Mount Prospect, you make me proud to be your mayor! Once again, this community is showing its compassion, generosity and neighborliness as we navigate through the COVID-19 storm. Neighbors are looking after neighbors. Teachers and newly minted home-school parents, you are rock stars! I’ve seen so much creativity among you. The neighborhood scavenger hunts, artwork in windows, and craft projects are amazing additions to the learning day! Please remember to keep your social distancing, though. I’ve had reports of clusters of tweens and teens meeting in the neighborhoods. You may be assuming that children and young adults are not impacted by the disease. Or that they are benign carriers to more vulnerable populations so we’ll keep them away from Grandma. But new information suggests that younger people are susceptible to the serious effects of the virus too, especially if they have been vaping. Parents, please remind them they are not invincible, and they are an important part of the solution!

The Village of Oak Park just released a Shelter in Place Order that has a few of you concerned. I’ve read the order and it contains many common sense exceptions to home confinement. In fact, it basically outlines the behaviors we should be following anyhow. You can still walk your dog, get some outdoor exercise, go to the grocery store, check in on your parents, pick up lunch or dinner and continue to leave home to go to your essential service jobs. I shouldn’t have to issue a formal order to do this, in addition to the guidance issued at the state, county and national level. Let’s remember we are part of the solution, and voluntarily maintain social separation in small groups and avoid large crowds!

To our restaurants- we as a community will do our best to help mitigate the real economic losses you are facing. Thank you to everyone who is ordering carry out to help keep your favorite diner afloat. Thank you to our dining establishments for your creative approaches to making your menu offerings available. View Restaurant Ordering info here

We know other businesses and entertainment creatives are suffering, too. Please look to the village and our amazing Chamber of Commerce to make available information on county, state and federal assistance programs as we learn of them. We have also extended many deadlines for payment for licenses and village services to assist during this time of interruption. 

The whole point of all this is so we don’t overwhelm the healthcare system. There is no vaccine, the virus is new so we haven’t built up antibodies, and our hospitals are not set up to handle the large numbers of patients that unchecked spread of COVID-19 can bring. We’ve seen what panic buying has done to the retail supply chain! Can you imagine if instead of toilet paper at Walmart we were standing in line to get medical treatment and testing in larger numbers than we are now? Please read the reports coming from Italy to see what it means to ration healthcare. And please don’t hoard your household purchases. The supply chain is not broken, it just needed to catch up after the panic surge.

This is not a time to panic. However, the situation is serious, and we are taking prudent steps recommended by epidemiologists to prevent worse outcomes. As Dr. Ngozi Ezike, head of the Illinois Department of Public Health, noted in a press conference earlier this week, once this is all over we can look back and assess whether we over-reacted. But it is better to have reacted and prevented unnecessary deaths, than to have done nothing and created even more harm.

Finally, to those of you working in healthcare, you have our gratitude and respect. In addition to serving your patients and clients, you have families and responsibilities at home. The challenges you are facing are immense! Thank you!

We are Mount Prospect! Together we will weather the storm and come out stronger for the experience!

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