BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — In an address to the city Tuesday night, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said every resident has a role to play to defend the city from the spread of COVID-19.
"We've been knocked down before, but we always get back up," Walsh said. "With vigilance and patience, with empathy and love, we will get through this together."
According to the mayor, there are 42 cases of coronavirus in Boston, and public health officials expect the number to rise. However, he added, social distancing is "a known solution" to the challenge, and one that will save lives.
Earlier Tuesday, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker addressed rumors of a shelter-in-place order, saying they were not true. Walsh addressed the possibility, saying the city was not currently at that point, but that officials continued to monitor the situation closely.
"It's not a decision that should be made lightly or in isolation," Walsh said. "For that reason, I am, and will continue to be, in conversation with the governor and state officials. Ultimately, we will do what's best for the health and well-being of the people of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts."
Walsh said it was understandable that many are feeling fear in the face of the virus, but invoked the city's history and the "Boston Strong" spirit in rallying Bostonians against the disease.
He said the city would feel economic and social impacts of the crisis "for some time." Speaking directly to seniors in the city, Walsh reminded them of the gravity of the situation.
"Last week, I called my mother," Walsh said. "I said mum, I want to be clear, I want you to be very careful. This is serious. You have to wash your hands throughout the day, use hand sanitizer. No hugs or kisses for visitors or nieces or nephews—in fact, they probably shouldn't come over for a while. You need to keep your distance from people. If you need anything from the store, you'll pick it up for you."
Walsh said he knows his mother—and other seniors across the city—will miss friends and family, but they must isolate themselves.
"It really hit home for me, what our seniors and our families are going through right now, so I want you to know that we're thinking of you," he said. "Many of the people we want to wrap our arms around the most are the very people we must keep at arm’s length for their own safety."
(Photo: Getty Images)