From the Mayor, Gregory J. Oravec
“I am heartened that so many of you are eager to receive the vaccine”.
Happy New Year! Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could start 2021 fresh and free from the challenges of 2020 as easily as turning the page of a calendar? If only…
Instead, I would ask us to confront the brutal truth that while we do have reasons to be hopeful and we can now see a pathway for our lives to return to normal in 2021, we are still in a difficult spot. We are likely months away from our desired destination; and we won’t be able to make it there without additional struggle, sacrifice, and, sadly, loss.
According to the St. Lucie County Office of the Florida Department of Health, as of early January, COVID-19 levels in our community are at their highest to date. That dreaded post- Thanksgiving spike has come to be not just in places reported on TV, but right here in St. Lucie County. Tradition Hospital is fully occupied, and it is going to take months for the vaccination effort to ramp up. As a result, as much as some of our residents might hate masks and be tired of distancing and other precautions, it is vital that we stay diligent and committed until the end, until our population is sufficiently immunized, because our circumstances can get worse, and, frankly, will get worse if we don’t take appropriate action. Wouldn’t it be especially heartbreaking to see things take a turn for the worse now, after so much sacrifice and just as the end game comes into view? Don’t let a moment of weakness cheapen the sacrifices that have been made to date, rob you or someone else of a loved one, or derail our economic recovery.
I am heartened that so many of you are eager to receive the vaccine, and I am sorry that many of you haven’t been able to get one right out of the gate. Unfortunately, I think the rollout of the vaccine is going to be much like the rollout of testing. It’s going to take months for the supply and delivery system to catch up with demand, making it hard to get a vaccine, especially at first.
We will see mistakes and inefficiencies. There will be anxiety, frustration and worse. Being mindful of this dynamic, let’s try to stay informed (through reputable sources, including www.cityofpsl.com/covid) and constructive. Let’s also be sure that we are doing what we can as individuals and households before casting stones at others.
Each state is responsible for its own vaccination plan. As you may know, the Florida Department of Health has an office in each of Florida’s 67 counties, including St. Lucie County. The Department of Health in St. Lucie County is leading the local vaccination effort. I encourage you to check its website often at http://stlucie.floridahealth.gov/. On this site, you can register for local vaccination events and get on a waiting list if the event is full. I also encourage you to reach out directly to your medical provider to see if they have plans to receive the vaccine and, if so, how they will distribute it.
Please know that I will share important news here and through other channels, but I would always encourage you to stay tuned to www.cityofpsl.com/covid, www.stlucieco.gov/departmentsservices/a-z/public-safety/covid-19 and other reputable sources directly.
In spite of the global pandemic and local tragedies, good things continued to happen in Port St. Lucie in 2020, with economic development being a real highlight especially under the circumstances. If you missed my State of the City Address in late January, I encourage you to watch it at www.cityofpsl.com. It highlights many of those good things and provides a big picture update on PSL entitled “The State of Port St. Lucie--Resilient and Still Growing in the Face of Historic Challenges and Generational Opportunities”.
Wishing you and our community a healthy and prosperous 2021.