Riverside’s Road to Recovery

Published: 05/25/2021

Riverside’s Road to Recovery

Now is the time for optimism. In particular, finding optimism in the little things we took for granted prior to March 2020. For me, like so many others, I’m looking forward to a time when I can leave my house without doing the daily run-through of COVID-19 questions.

“Do I have my mask?”

“Is the place we are trying to go even open? Will occupancy limits keep me from getting in?”

“What color are we in the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy? And what’s next?”

Fortunately, the development and implementation of COVID-19 vaccines, as well as continued adherence to COVID-19 protocols, are allowing Californians to make remarkable progress towards crushing the virus and reclaiming some semblance of pre-COVID normality.

This means we are at a hopeful, yet critical point. We are on our way back to normal, but we are not there yet. We still have work to do.

Our state is on its way to fully reopening on June 15th, which is one month away. But, to make that happen, we must stay conscientious about wearing our face coverings and getting vaccinated. If you are over the age of 16, that “getting vaccinated” part means now. And if you already have been vaccinated, encourage a friend or family member to get vaccinated too. Share with them the relief you felt after getting your first or second shot. Be a source of reassurance if they have concerns.

California, and especially my city of Riverside, is looking at a roaring comeback just a few weeks from now–a comeback that is in sight and within reach. I look forward to embracing the second half of 2021 as much as we took delight in saying good riddance to most of 2020.

California, and each of its cities and counties, can “build back better” and stronger than ever. Our economy is one of the largest in the world. Our landscape is among the most beautiful on the planet. Our colleges and universities, our state and national parks, our way of life – these are beacons to people from around the globe.

We are on the cusp of a new look at “the roaring 20s” with an economy that is the envy of the nation. And we can look to this bright future because of the sacrifices that we have made during the past 16 months:

Wearing a mask or a face covering, washing our hands, avoiding crowds and maintaining six feet of physical distancing, and getting vaccinated, whether by one shot or two from Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson.

These are the actions that have put our state on the path to normalcy again. Hospitalizations from COVID-19 have been dropping for months and we are no longer seeing the number of deaths from this virus that we once endured. In California, our virus positivity rate is the lowest in the country.

Almost half of Californians – including more than 75 percent of those over 65 -- have received at least one dose of a vaccine. 50 percent of those doses have gone to the hardest hit communities, ensuring equity in the Golden State. That number of vaccinations – the sixth highest in the world – means millions of people have a significantly lower risk of contracting COVID-19, needing hospitalization, or dying.

This all shows that California is leading the way—due in large part to your actions. The life you saved by limiting the spread of COVID-19 may have been your own, or it may have been your friend, an elderly family member, or a co-worker.

So, despite all this good news and how tempting it is to declare victory over the virus, we must remain vigilant in this final leg of the race because it will make a powerful difference.

We have reason to be optimistic and look forward to June 15.