This Christmas (and New Years) will be very different: no Momma, no big family gathering, none of the usual crowds, unfortunately no spending time together, which has always been traditional for the holidays, especially at Christmas.
The pandemic will not call a ceasefire and we cannot afford to make mistakes. Every single thing that could allow the virus to circulate more massively must be avoided. Our efforts cannot have been made in vain; that’s why I ask everyone living in Barstow and the surrounding communities to make a further sacrifice.
We cannot afford to drop our guard. If we continue to stay strong during this holiday, in a few months’ time we will be able to celebrate . . . truly celebrate . . . the end of this tragedy, which has clouded our lives for almost a year.
The Courtney’s intend to stay close to home this Christmas. We hope and pray that our health remains “non-critical”. . . it is another way to pay thanks and give tribute to the healthcare professionals who have worked nonstop for months.
Therefore, Barstow shall remain strong and, in so doing, deliver a message of faith over fear, closeness, respect and hope to all at the end of this incredibly difficult and challenging 2020. The sincerest wish I can make for everyone this Christmas and for the New Year is that we free ourselves from this virus and that we can return to our previous lives as soon as possible.
Lives that sometimes seemed demanding and that now, with all their flaws and problems, we crave more than anything else.
Barstow and beyond . . . that will take shape once the virus has gone wants to be different: visually cleaner, closer to the people, non-housed residents not so apparent, smarter, which attracts new students, entrepreneurs and knowledge from all over the world. A changed city, which will not squander this tragedy, but instead will harness it to rethink and improve itself, with all our residents.
Paul Anthony Courtney, Mayor of Barstow