November 23, 2020 Health Officer Statement
I haven’t updated this statement in a while because I have said most of what I know and I have given recommendations about what you need to do multiple times. Please read or reread my previous statements on this site to get a better understanding of where we find ourselves today and the actions you can take to protect yourselves and your family.
This time I am writing to appeal to your collective will to win this battle. You are all now getting a crash course in public health principles, but it is important that you understand one thing above all. While these principles are in action at all times, for much of our lives we are lulled into a false sense of reality that somehow we are individuals. In reality, we are a collective, with relationships and interdependencies that when severed will result in both our individual and our collective demise. Right now, enough people are acting like they are individuals, carelessly, thoughtlessly, and I would add quite selfishly, whether by intent or not, resulting in a surge in new cases. Because of these actions, everyone’s lives are disrupted, schools will not function properly, and your favorite businesses will close, likely forever. The holidays are going to be a super critical time. Unless you happen to live under a rock, you are bombarded constantly with messages on the actions you need to take. I know many of you would like me, or the government, or some external entity to provide some magical remedy to make it all better. It doesn’t work that way. While there is an enormous infrastructure stood up to try to protect you, if you don’t pay attention to your own actions, you will not like what is to come and how it will impact the people you care about. We, as a community, were able to maintain a stable, manageable COVID case rate for almost two months, from early September ending with Halloween. I know we can do it again. It is in your hands.
Scott Morrow, MD, MPH, MBA
San Mateo County Health Officer