English Translation - March 24

City of Holland, I’m your Mayor, Nathan Bocks

Today is the first day of Governor Whitmer’s Stay at Home Order.

For City leadership, this was not unexpected.  We have been planning for this possibility for some time and yesterday we put those plans into action.  We are in good hands.

We continue to make smart, responsible decisions based on the best information that we have available.  Our city leadership, our staff and employees are supporting the Governor’s order and will be continuing to provide the essential services necessary for the health, safety, and welfare of the community.

In regard to any health-related matters, we continue to follow the recommendations of county and state health departments and the CDC.  You should too.

I thank our employees for their dedication to see our community through this unprecedented time.  They are smart, dedicated, and care deeply about Holland and its residents. It is who we are. 

Where possible, many of our great city employees will be working from home.  For those that continue to work in and about the community, we are doing everything we can to ensure their health and safety under the Governor’s order.  For their protection we have closed the lobby of City Hall to the public, but you can still access essential city services and personnel by telephone, mail, email and online through the city’s website.

Essential Services will continue.

Our public safety department will continue to provide police and fire protection.

Electricity, Water, Waste water, and city broadband services will continue as well. The City of Holland does not close.

Will be be doing basic cleaning of our parks,  But, remember, we cannot sanitize playground equipment.  Notices have been posted.

Some road construction projects will continue as well.  We are following the lead of the State of Michigan in this regard and doing everything possible to maintain the safety of all workers. Michigan has a very short road construction season and the loss of even a few weeks could require the cancellation of necessary larger projects.

We are implementing our stay at home plans and you should too.

There are a lot of things about this situation that you can’t control. But there is one thing that you can. How you respond to it. 

Please, Take it seriously. 

Stay at home if at all possible.  Do your best to prevent face-to-face interaction with anyone other than those in your household.

Staying home for three weeks will be a challenge.  I like to turn challenges into opportunities. I challenge the Holland community to use this time to improve ourselves and our community as a whole.  It is who we are. 

Many of us have just been given the gift of time.

Spend quality time with your family.  Either at home, or by phone or video with those far away.

Check in on and care for your neighbors.  

Waive and smile from the window.

Find volunteer at home opportunities on the city’s website. I have been deeply moved by our community’s outpouring of support for our charities and our neighbors. Keep it up. It is who we are. 

Eat better, exercise more, ...sleep.  Take care of your body and stay healthy.

Find ways to bring order to the chaos.  Clean that closet.  Rake the yard.  As my 90 year old mother says: Make your bed. The little things can make a big difference. 

If you are careful, you can still go outside.

You can get groceries and prescriptions

You can still walk your dog

Just please, Follow the Governor’s order and social distancing rules.

We are all in this together. We will get through this by caring for ourselves and especially each other.  

Holland has always been a community of big dreams, big plans, and a willingness to do to the hard work necessary to bring them to fruition.  By working together, we will weather this storm. We will rally and we will rise and we will be better for it.

Stay safe.  Stay healthy.  And wash your hands.  ...Again.

This is Holland.  And we get to live here.