While we spend the holiday season each year with our loved ones, going out to shopping malls and restaurants, and doing other similar social activities, we must practice social distancing and other precautions this year.
With Thanksgiving coming up, many of you will want to gather with your loved ones. I am asking you to make one more sacrifice and limit any in-person social gatherings during this holiday season. We need to do this so more Virginians can see next year's Thanksgiving, and many more after that.
We just wrapped up our nearly 3 month long special session. This session was called for two very important reasons: to combat racial injustice, and to address the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. While our Commonwealth still has a way to go before we can achieve true equality and security, I am so proud of the progress we made.
I am thankful to the many Virginians who have taken the steps to mitigate the virus’ spread. While our Commonwealth is doing relatively better than a lot of other parts of our country, we are currently experiencing a rise in cases. Now more than ever, we must continue to follow proper social distancing protocol.
I hope you and yours are doing well. As we continue to fight against this pandemic, I wanted to give you some positive news.
While it is troubling to see much of the country experience a surge in cases, Virginia is one of a handful of states where cases have remained steady and relatively low. This is a testament to the sacrifice we Virginians have given to ensure this pandemic’s dire effects are mitigated.
It’s been about a month since the Governor gave a COVID-19 update. In that time, Virginia has trended towards a good direction. We have made great strides, but we can’t let up now. Now is not the time to be complacent, we must continue to practice social distancing measures and proper health safety protocols. We’ll get through this pandemic, but we need to do it together!
I hope you and yours are doing well and staying safe. As we progress through month 6 of this pandemic in Virginia, I want to highlight an important issue. September is National Suicide Prevention Month. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US, it has taken 48,344 lives and caused 1.4 million attempts in just 2018.
We are now in the 6th month of this pandemic. As the numerous experts, officials, and the Governor said back in the beginning of the pandemic, this virus would be something we will have to fight against for months, not weeks.Though our statistics give us reason to be cautiously optimistic, there are still new cases found everyday. We need to carry on practicing physical distancing and safe, healthy, habits. While we all continue to fight against this virus together, my colleagues and I continue to pass legislation that will improve Virginia.
This past Tuesday, August 18th, our General Assembly began its special session. The House of Delegates met in person on Tuesday, but we have since been holding our session virtually. It is certainly an unprecedented manner of convening our legislative body, but this is certainly an unprecedented time. For the sake of the health of my colleagues, General Assembly staffers, their families, and the local residents of the Richmond area, I am proud we have made this historic step.