‘Unsung Heroes’ Step Up during COVID-19 crisis

By: David J. Canepa, San Mateo County District 5 Supervisor, dcanepa@smcgov.org, 650-363-4572

As we slowly return to normal and shelter in place restrictions are eased, I stand in awe of our community’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. By adhering to the county Health Officer’s orders, we are bending the curve and saving lives.
For this, we owe a debt of gratitude to our “Unsung Heroes”, the frontline workers including our teachers, sanitation workers, truck and bus drivers, grocery workers, police, firefighters, nurses and so many others who have worked so hard to keep our society running during the coronavirus pandemic.
I’d especially like to thank the nearly 2,000 volunteers who have stepped up to assist the county and our nonprofits during this crisis.
I co-sponsored a resolution honoring these “Unsung Heroes” that unanimously passed the board at its May 5 meeting.
One individual diagnosed with the virus, 38-year-old Ken Loo of Daly City, was in ICU and fearing the worse. He rapidly fell ill in early March and famously told his wife, “babe, don’t let me die.” Ken, with the support of his wife Clarissa and children, was released from the hospital in mid-April and returned home to a heroes welcome by his friends, members of the Daly City Council and police and firefighters.
I was proud to present Ken’s wife with a proclamation honoring his bravery as he witnessed a parade of fire trucks and other vehicles pass by his home honking support for Ken’s recovery. It was an incredibly inspiring event that proves we can beat this virus with love and support.
Seton Medical Center has roared back to life after being nearly shut down just two months ago. It has been secured by the state to house and care for COVID-19 patients temporarily and the hospital’s owner, Verity, has agreed to sell the hospital to a new operator, Advanced Healthcare Management Corporation of Los Angeles.
AHMC bought the two facilities for $40 million and the deal is expected to close before September.
As more people have lost their jobs because of the virus, I am incredibly grateful to our nonprofit partners who have provided food to our most vulnerable during this crisis.
The Mid-Peninsula Boys and Girls Club, in partnership with Second Harvest, opened a food bank at the Bayshore School in Daly City. More than 350 individuals in their vehicles were able to access boxes of food for their families in a safe manner. The boxes were gone in an astonishing 30 minutes. Before the crisis, there were already families in need in our communities, but the virus has amplified the need.
David J. Canepa serves on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors representing District 5, which includes Brisbane.