On Sunday Lynden Mayor Scott Korthuis sent out a statement on social media and for the Lynden Tribune to share. This is the message in full:
Five generations of my family have called Lynden home. I have been its Mayor for more than 10 years and never imagined we would see a crisis like this.
The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has wreaked worldwide havoc. And now it has reached us. As of Saturday, March 21, the Whatcom Department of Health indicates 14 cases and two deaths in our county.
It’s important to be informed and guided by real facts. It’s easy to find them online: ‘Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Whatcom County’ at https://www.whatcomcounty.us/3329/Novel-Coronavirus-COVID-19. You will see a web page with links to up-to-date and relevant information you can rely on.
It is challenging, but we must all follow the advice of medical experts: Wash our hands often or use sanitizers if we cannot use soap and water, don’t touch our faces, practice “social distancing,” avoid unnecessary trips and interactions, and remain at home if you have symptoms.
I am very pleased to hear, and personally observe, that our citizens appear to be following these Health Department and CDC protocols. Thank you, everyone, for being socially responsible. Extraordinary times require extraordinary efforts and we must all do our part.
It is a blessing that the necessities we rely on are still available and, according to local grocers, the supply chain is not in jeopardy. Our grocery stores are well-stocked except for cleaning supplies. Stores are restocked daily and most items are available until late in the day. So friends, please, this is not a time to hoard— this is a time to buy what you know you will need and leave the rest for your neighbors. Spread the word that most stores now have early morning hours dedicated to allow folks with compromised health to shop in better isolation.
Our schools are providing lunches for students who need them. Citizens are rising to the occasion and supplying our local food bank, Project Hope, with food donations and cash donations which will equip this effective and efficient faith-based organization to respond to individual cases of hardship and loss.
Our three largest facilities that specialize in caring for seniors — Lynden Manor, Meadow Greens and the Christian Health Care Center — are working diligently to provide good care and keeping our very most vulnerable population safe. But isolation is hard on our elderly family members, so let’s reach out to them daily by phone or notes. Consider assigning your school-age children to create cheery cards that can be distributed to lonely residents.
Now, more than ever, your City organization has doubled-down on its commitment to serve the community. Being proactive, your City Council signed a Declaration of Emergency on March 17 should we need to act on it. Our Police and Fire Departments are fully staffed and fully deployed. The Public Works crews make sure we have fresh water and sewer services.
Our City Hall lobby is closed, but all services are still available, in person by appointment. Please conduct business by phone, internet or drop box, if possible. Check the City’s website (www.lyndenwa.org) for the phone numbers you need.
The coronavirus threat wants us to turn inward, to hunker down, avoid our neighbors, our churches, to shutter our windows. But that is not how this community has ever operated and this is what really adds to our challenge, I know.
Let’s not panic or live in state of fear. The fundamentals that have always made our community unique and special are the same things that will see us through this crisis — our faith and trust in God, personal responsibility, our care for our neighbors, a deep sense of community, and selfless charity. Now is the time to draw upon these things to help us pull together to weather this storm. When we are on the other side of this pandemic, may it ultimately be said of Lynden that we loved each other (John 13:34-35).”