This holiday season is looking to be a much brighter one than last year, thanks in large part to our collective effort to protect the health and well-being of our community by getting vaccinated and masking up. Once again, we are planning in-person gatherings, enjoying the simple moments of sharing a meal together and hugging our loved ones. That is something to celebrate!

While we have made great strides, it is important to recognize that the pandemic is far from over.  As new variants emerge and we interact with unvaccinated and high-risk individuals, we must continue to take the necessary precautions to protect ourselves and others.  Getting vaccinated and wearing a mask wherever required are essential – and if you are eligible, be certain to get your booster shot as soon as possible. Additionally, if you travel, be sure to get tested both before you leave and when you return home.  COVID exhaustion is real, but we have to remain vigilant.

We must also acknowledge that many in our community, from families to businesses, continue to struggle with the economic impacts of the pandemic – many of whom were already struggling well-before COVID. Two ways that you can help invest in our community this season are to:

  • Whenever possible, do your holiday shopping at the large selection of independent and minority-owned small businesses located in Alameda County. Spending your money locally stays right here and helps our community thrive.
  • If you have the means or the time, consider donating to or volunteering with one of the many Community Based Organizations (CBOs) here in the East Bay. Our CBOs have been on the frontlines supporting those most in need, and they have been significantly impacted by the increased demand for assistance during the pandemic. Your support will help ensure their critical work can continue.

We wish you a season full of love and joy. May the coming year bring you an abundance of good health, good fortune, and peace.

-Keith Carson & District 5 Staff