Last Monday, I introduced a proclamation designating March 1, 2021 as COVID-19 Victims and Survivors Memorial Day . I’m proud to have been joined by my council colleagues as Seattle joined 152 other cities across the country to pass a proclamation and reflect on the tragedy, loss, and havoc COVID-19 has left in our communities. Though we have had lower COVID infection and death rates than other cities locally, every life lost matters and has left a hole in the heart of loved ones, family members, and the community as a whole. We must remember that every person lost or who has suffered from COVID-19 is not just a number – they are real people with families and loved ones who are impacted.
I was touched by the statement of Linda and Alexander Oliver, who accepted the proclamation in remembrance of their daughter, Marian Jude Oliver, who was lost to COVID-19. “For all that she gave in life, I mourn most that I could not be there with her during her final moments. I was there when she took her first breath and I watched her take her final breath over Zoom. To not be able to hold my daughter’s hand during her greatest time of need will follow me for the rest of my life. I would not wish this horrific experience on anyone.”
As we hopefully move toward the end stages of this pandemic, we must not let down our guard. It is more important than ever to maintain proper social distancing, avoid crowds and gatherings outside our households, and wash our hands. I will continue hold those who have experienced a loss, who have recovered from COVID, who are battling COVID currently, and who are experiencing financial insecurity, mental health trauma, housing and food insecurity and more as a result of this pandemic close to my heart. You are not alone.