Things have really changed since my last Mayor’s report at the beginning of March. At that time, I wrote about the upcoming municipal elections. Wurstfest was imminent, basketball, Cardinal baseball and senior proms were on our minds. Then something we hadn’t even heard of happened. The COVID-19 Pandemic came to America.
Since that time our municipal elections have been rescheduled for June 2 and the COVID-19 pandemic has taken over our lives. Our Governor and our health department issue almost daily statements concerning the corona virus. Many Hermann events have been postponed or canceled. Both the R1 Schools and St. George schools have been closed and might be canceled for the rest of the year. Most churches are not having traditional services. Large-scale meetings are canceled. City Hall and the Mayor and Aldermen Meetings are closed to the public.
Governor Parson and the Gasconade County Health Department ordered citizens of Gasconade County and the City of Hermann to practice social distancing measures, keeping 6 feet between individuals and not assembling in groups of more than 10. These social distancing measures include restaurants, bars and other places of public accommodation. These orders have dramatically reduced the volume of tourists and the business generated by this industry. However, most of our industrial and organizational businesses are still operating. Many of our restaurants are operating on a phone-in and pick-up basis. Our businesses are bravely carrying on with despite lonely streets. Help them!
As of March 29, the state of Missouri had about 900 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and recorded 13 deaths. Twenty-six states are shut down. Twenty-one Missouri Counties had also issued stay-at-home orders. Many of them are nearby such as Boone County, Jefferson County, Cole County, Saint Louis and Saint Louis City. Most of us are staying home and strictly abiding by the Governor and County Health Department orders. Our immediate willingness to conform to these regulations appears to have helped delay the virus in our community. This is utterly amazing because Hermann has about 650 people who either live in Hermann and work somewhere that has recorded positive COVID-19 cases or that live in those places and work in Hermann. We know they have to drive to and from their jobs every day and we know they are being incredibly safety conscious, and we thank them from the bottom of our hearts. We must not let up our constant effort.
Americans have always found ways to overcome adversity and we will do the same with the coronavirus pandemic! Hermann citizens are staying close to home to minimize the possibility of contact with an infected person. They are only going out for necessities and are purchasing meals for pick-up, attending church services from their car or on YouTube, phoning orders to local merchants and having them delivered or picking them up themselves. All of these things are done without personal contact and with the safety of the Hermann population foremost in their minds. I am proud that the citizens and business people of Hermann for taking this to heart. We are helping each other, keeping each other safe, supporting our local businesses and looking out for our seniors. That is a real caring community. I think it is heroic!