Beverly Hills Has COVID-19 Kindness Task Force
In the wake of the continued spread of COVID- 19 (Novel Coronavirus), on March 16 Mayor John Mirisch announced the formation of the COVID-19 Kindness Task Force. The new task force will consist of residents and community members willing to volunteer in ways that are mindful of the community.
“This is an opportunity for Beverly Hills to do what we do best, care for one another,” said Mayor Mirisch. “We encourage members of our community to call their friends and loved ones, develop networks and support neighbors. By offering assistance in a safe and responsible way, we demonstrate our resilience as a community and will prevail healthier and stronger.”
“Now more than ever we are ‘Community’ with a capital ‘C,’ and we will get through this together as a community,” Mirisch added.
The Task Force will assist seniors and the City’s most vulnerable populations. Experts anticipate the pandemic will persist for months and recommend self-isolation for people over age 65, with compromised immune systems or those who are pregnant.
“We need to help other people when we can lend a hand [and] lean on others when we need support. The best thing that we can all do now is to call and check in on the elderly and most vulnerable. Even the smallest acts of kindness resonate in all our lives,” said Human Relations Commission member Annette Saleh, whose five-member Commission will be tasked with helping spearhead the task force.
“Nothing makes me prouder than being part of a community that acts fast to help those in need during such trying and unprecedented times,” added Human Relations Commission Chair Ori Blumenfeld. “We are a true example of a community of one and we will get through this based on the overwhelming support of our community and partners.”
Councilman Julian Gold, M.D., underscored the critical importance of keeping the City’s at-risk and elderly population safe from unintended infection by people who may unknowingly be carrying the COVID-19 virus.
“We have to be careful of asking people to knock on doors … for both sides,” he said, also recommending that the task force operate primarily on a virtual level.
Mayor Mirisch stated that best practices would be put in place going forward as established by experts.
“At the end of the day, seniors need to eat and get their medicine,” he said, further recommending that the task force operate primarily on a virtual level.
Currently, the City’s social services division is looking at ways to best feed people in the wake of seniors no longer receiving meals at Roxbury Park following community-wide shutdowns. From reading to people and offering various forms of virtual support to offset loneliness to actually going shopping for others, the City is only just beginning to figure out the best patterns to put in place for the coming months.
“We have many vulnerable residents and seniors in our community who are going to require various forms of help,” Mirisch said. “I know as a community that we are strong and that this is something we can do to help.”
“We do have an opportunity to remind ourselves of the importance of kindness and now more than ever let’s not make COVID-19 contagious, let’s make kindness contagious,” he added.
Those interested in becoming a member of the COVID-19 Kindness Task Force can email Public Information Manager Keith Sterling at firstname.lastname@example.org.