The Thurston County Board of Commissioners and staff on Tuesday afternoon held a special memorial tribute to recognize the more than 400,000 people in the United States who so far have died from COVID-19.
Thurston County Commissioner and Chairman of the Board Tye Menser also called for 61 seconds of silence in memory of the 61 Thurston County residents who have died from the virus. The entire event, which lasted about six minutes, was streamed on the county’s YouTube channel.
Flags were also lowered on Tuesday in remembrance.
“We have seen a significant effect of the pandemic on families and businesses in our county. Families and individuals are being affected not only by the illness, but also with lost wages, education, time with loved ones and the culture in our communities,” Menser said. “We applaud our health providers, first responders and essential workers who have worked so hard to bring us through the past year.”
“There’s still much to do as we look ahead to the future,” Menser continued. “It is going to take dedication from all of us to end the pandemic and transition back to our normal, daily lives. We are united with you, our cities, our neighboring counties and our nation in our path forward.”
Menser added that the virus has also hit him personally. One of his cousins was hospitalized over the weekend due to COVID-19 and is out and recovering.
“It’s really something when it touches your family,” he said.
Commissioner Gary Edwards said he agreed with Menser’s sentiments.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Thurston County Public Health and Social Services has tallied a total of 5,850 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 342 of which have been reported in the last seven days.
“All I have to say is that we have to have hope for the future,” Commissioner Carolina Mejia said. “Hope that we can move on and keep leading by example — wearing our mask, social distancing — and hope that soon again our kids will be able to go to school, that we’ll be able to meet our friends at restaurants, that we’ll be able to see loved ones again.”