By The Signal Editorial Board
The COVID-19 pandemic got very real for the Santa Clarita Valley this week. As of this writing, there are at least 66 confirmed cases of the virus in the SCV, and we learned of the first local death apparently related to the coronavirus: a Santa Clarita Transit driver who succumbed to illness on Tuesday.
Not much information is publicly available about the driver, other than the facts that the driver operated on commuter routes on Friday, March 27, then fell ill the next day, tested positive for COVID-19, and died just a few days later.
Our hearts go out to the friends, family and coworkers of the driver.
The rapidity with which the driver’s condition deteriorated was downright chilling. And we are nowhere near out of the woods yet, with at least three successive days this week in which more than 500 new cases were confirmed throughout L.A. County, bringing the total to more than 4,000, and more than 75 deaths.
It’s not to be taken lightly. We certainly hope and urge everyone to take this seriously, stay safe and stay at home — especially our seniors and those who have underlying medical conditions.
By staying home, you are not only protecting yourself. You are also helping to keep the virus from spreading and helping to “flatten the curve.” Stay-at-home orders nationwide have already reduced the anticipated deaths from COVID-19 by more than a million.
We know this is inconvenient for everyone and it has certainly changed everyone’s life, but we must all do our part to keep ourselves and our neighbors safe. At The Signal, we are doing our part, with the vast majority of our staff working from home, and our photojournalists in the field following strict social distancing guidelines. Telephoto lenses are proving their worth more now than ever.
We would also like to give a heartfelt thank you to all the hospitals, physicians, nurses, health care workers, first responders, government officials, restaurants, grocery and convenience store workers, financial institutions, pharmaceutical researchers, transit and utility workers, and other news and media outlets who are on the front lines of the crisis.
Thank you all, for continuing to do your important jobs, and we hope all are able to take the necessary steps to reduce their risk of infection.
To all residents: Please help your neighbor, particularly those most vulnerable, if you see something they need in this time of crisis. We can, and will, defeat this virus, and we will all get through it together. This will make us stronger, and it might even bring us closer together as a community and as a nation.