Spring is here, or at least it might be (despite the snow flurries this morning)! The spring-like weather and daffodils blooming in many gardens makes all of this a tiny bit easier. As you know, we have at least another month of the Stay Safe, Stay Home order, and after that, opening things back up will likely be a slow, deliberate process so we can continue to protect the health and safety of everyone in Vermont. We all need to remain vigilant, stay home for all but critical work and essential services, and follow health guidelines. In the meantime, I have some springtime updates and information to share.
I know this is a holiday weekend, as many of us observe Easter, Passover, and the traditional start to spring. Celebrating a holiday during a pandemic is difficult and I know many of us are wishing we could be with family and friends. My family usually celebrates Passover with a huge Saturday Seder, with over 30 people gathered around our table to honor the story of our ancestors and feast on delicious food. The next day we celebrate Easter Sunday with baskets full of treats and an egg hunt in our yard with our neighbors. This year our Seder table will include just five of us and our Easter treats will be scant. This reality is likely similar for you and your family. Next year, may we all be able to be with loved ones from near and far. Let's keep that hope alive during this pandemic.
I'm thankful the weather has been beautiful these past couple days, because I know that every-day life has become stressful and intense for many people. Addison County has the second highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Vermont, with neighboring Chittenden County (home to my constituents in Huntington and Buels Gore) recording the most cases of the virus in the state. We're reaching the point when all of us have been, or will be soon, touched by this pandemic directly or indirectly through friends, family, neighbors, or co-workers. The fear, anxiety, and loss can be overwhelming. Please be kind and patient, and take care of yourself. These are not easy times.
We're into the second month of the COVID-19 crisis in Vermont and April promises to be even more difficult than March. Current state models project the “peak” of cases between mid-to-late April and early May. The sacrifices we're all making by staying at home are working to slow the spread of the virus, and the following weeks will be critical to saving lives.
I hope you've been able to heed the Governor's "Stay Safe, Stay Home" order and are remaining home unless your work has been deemed "critical" to the response to this public health emergency. You can still go out briefly for things like grocery shopping, medical visits, taking care of others, and exercise, but otherwise, please stay home. We all need to do our part to stop the spread of this deadly virus.