One year of the pandemic, third vaccine approved by FDA, Town Hall this Wednesday, COVID vocabulary...

View this in your browser.


March 1, 2021

one year

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Well, it’s been a year.  In some ways it seems unbelievable, and in another way it feels as though it’s been a decade.  It is interesting to look back and remember just how novel the “Novel Coronavirus” seemed one year ago and how much we have all learned – and adjusted to – since King County was ground zero with the first death in the nation, that of a resident of a long-term care facility in Kirkland. 

One year ago, I left my office at the County Courthouse and took the bus back to my apartment in Belltown.  That was my last work-related bus-ride since then.  And it was March 1st that County Executive Dow Constantine issued his emergency declaration which the County Council ratified on March 3rd.  Since then, the Council and all our staff have been working remotely, and will be doing so under the Executive’s order through July 6th.  (Note: I am picking up mail and watering the plants on occasion at our offices in the Courthouse, so we are not able to be as prompt as we would like in responding to mail. Email works a lot faster!)

It has been a year of dealing with an uncomfortable amount of “unknowns.”  How long will this go on?  Is it airborne (the answer is YES)?  What kind of mask?  What about children?  And, most importantly, ‘How do I unmute myself on Zoom?’

It’s been a year of fear and frustration, not to mention job losses, personal losses and stressed relationships.  I personally find it somewhat discouraging to look back and realize how much a year of misinformation, delay, inaction, mixed messaging and lack of federal leadership has cost us.  Nearly half a million Americans have died of COVID-19 to date and almost 5,000 Washingtonians have died of COVID-19 to date. Mind boggling!

On the positive side, we saw scientists, public health professionals, bus drivers, essential workers of all kinds, neighbors, community organizations, and many, many others step up and face the challenges of this pandemic head-on.  Several effective vaccines were developed (and finally are being administered) in one year’s time.  And throughout the course of this pandemic, ordinary citizens consistently have been stepping up to fill in voids as they’ve occurred - - collecting PPE for health care workers, making and donating face masks, collecting food and donating to food banks, shopping for older neighbors and driving them to doctor’s appointments - - and now, young people and tech experts stepping in to help bring order to the disordered process of getting a vaccine appointment. 

The good news is that we are apparently starting to turn the corner in this pandemic.  One million Washingtonians have received vaccines, a third vaccine was just approved by the FDA and the vaccine supply is expected to increase greatly over the coming months.  (However, as noted previously, we cannot relax our precautions, especially with the variants spreading widely.)

And, very positive is the fact that last week was the first week in King County that we have not had a single COVID-related death in a long-term care facility since the pandemic began. 

There is more information below on this incredible one-year anniversary.  My hope is that once the pandemic is behind us, we will take the resilience and community spirit we’ve built up over the past year and put those skills to work in confronting other major challenges, such as homelessness and the climate crisis. 

As always, I would like to hear from you. You can call me at 206-477-1004 or you can reach me by email at 

All the best and I hope you are staying safe.