Letter: A Message From the Mayor

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Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen. Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Dear Laguna Beach Residents:

I know that it is discouraging to many to hear about another stay-at-home order—especially during the holiday season. I also realize that this order puts a heavy burden on our already stressed local businesses.  But I strongly urge you to do your best to comply with the order. The number of cases and hospitalizations have reached their highest levels since the pandemic began and are expected to go higher.  At the end of this week we reached a level in the United States where two people are dying every minute from COVID-19. That is a truly sobering statistic. 

There are many rules about what is open and what is closed and it is confusing to follow it all. I get that.  To keep it simple, the best advice that I can give is the same advice we have heard from many of the medical professionals– stay at home as much as you can, avoid contact with those outside your household and wear a mask whenever you are outside of the house and in close proximity to others.

In Laguna let’s pull together as a community as we always do in times of crisis. Let’s support our local restaurants by ordering takeout and our local merchants by ordering online. Let’s keep ourselves and our neighbors safe by wearing a mask whenever we have to be out.  Let’s keep healthy by getting outdoors for some exercise and relief from stress. 

In this season of good cheer I want to end on a note of optimism. The County Health Officer reported this morning that the first vaccines are scheduled to be received by the County in mid-December assuming Food and Drug Administration approval next week for emergency use. He also expects the vaccine to be widely available in the County by the end of March. 

This pandemic will not go on forever and life will return to normal. Let’s hunker down now knowing that better days are ahead. My best wishes go out to all of you for a safe and healthy holiday season!       

Bob Whalen, Mayor of Laguna Beach

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