Brisbane Strong

By: Terry O’Connell, City of Brisbane Mayor, terryoconnell@ci.brisbane.ca.us

While most of the COVID-19 news focuses on the somber realities of the virus and its aftermath, I want to focus on all of the positive things happening in Brisbane. During this challenging time, our residents and businesses have come together in true Brisbane fashion, lending a hand and even inspiring smiles among neighbors.
A number of residents have been hard at work producing masks and distributing them free of charge or for a nominal cost to cover supplies.
These individuals have spent countless hours at their sewing machines to ensure as many people in our community can be a little more protected when leaving home for essential errands. While not 100% effective, masks can help and should be worn.
Others are using their knack for making people smile by taking their exercise walks around town in different costumes, waving to those they pass – at a safe distance. Many households helped to make Easter special for our children by placing paper eggs in windows for kids to hunt for while out walking.
The Brisbane COVID-19 Response Coalition, now comprising more than 80 volunteers, continues to fulfill requests. Volunteers have delivered groceries, given rides to the doctor, and helped people file for unemployment. When a request is made, a volunteer often responds quickly, offering a helping hand. It is this spirit that makes Brisbane so special. We look out for one another!
Our local businesses that serve the public have worked hard to remain open and provide essentials in a safe environment. Local restaurants are providing safe and delicious take-out options. Some are even able to offer home delivery options
Other families in town have recognized the need to give extra support to our Brisbane businesses during this time by purchasing gift cards. Many of these gift cards have been distributed to frontline workers to show appreciation, or to families in need. This gesture has helped our businesses and hopefully, residents in town that need it most.
I hope others who are able, will be inspired to do the same. The Lions Club will help facilitate gift card distribution, if you are interested in participating or are in need, please reach out to Lion Sharon Boggs.
The City has also worked to lift people’s spirits with the #SmileBrisbane campaign, created by the Parks and Recreation Department. Our Park and Rec team curates recreational opportunities for residents and posts them to YouTube, social media, and the city’s website. Some of the content produced so far includes story time, crafts, exercises, and messages from city staff. In addition, the City has brought back the Farmer’s Market ahead of schedule and instituted safe guidelines so residents have easier access to fresh produce. Visit brisbaneca.org for more information.
Lastly, at 8pm if you listen closely, you may hear howling that is not just from our local San Bruno Mountain coyotes. A mixture of thanking healthcare workers/first responders and releasing pent-up energy from isolation, howling as swept the nation. Howlers tell me it’s an excellent stress-reliever.
While we continue to practice physical isolation and strictly follow the Shelter-In-Place guidelines, let us focus on all the ways to stay healthy, bring a smile to others, and support our neighbors who may be struggling. We are stronger together, even when 6 feet apart!