Ask the Chief April 23, 2020
Covid-19 has significantly changed how we live our lives. One change is how we celebrate important events like birthdays and graduations. Social Media has many posts and videos showing “Drive-by” celebrations where friends and family will drive by the home of the birthday person, honking and waving to let them know they are special. These “Drive-by” celebrations are very well-intended but often poorly executed. I have been asked to participate in a few of these and I am happy to do so, but we need to set some guidelines so that we are following proper social distancing rules to keep everyone safe and healthy. The current guidelines for the “Stay at Home” order ask that you have no non-essential contact with people outside of those who live in your home. This means one family per car. Don’t ride with your friends, cousins, coworkers and so on. This also means that people shouldn’t group up at the home of the birthday person. I have seen where the neighbors come out and friends come over to watch the parade and everyone is standing very close together. This has become such an issue that other jurisdictions have ordered their fire departments and police departments not to participate.
My concern is not only for your health but also to avoid someone calling the state and making a complaint. We don’t need anyone from state government or the department of health calling the city and asking us to start enforcing social distancing guidelines and/or stopping these celebrations. Please be smart about what you do, especially in public. Set a good example for others to follow so we can keep things local.