English Translation - April 10

Mayor’s Message - Good Friday, April 10, 2020

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

We have been living under the restrictions of the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Safe, Stay Alive Order for almost three weeks. 

For the most part, many of us have done well.  We have limited our travel.  We have worked hard to smile and wave from six feet apart.  And we have done our best to support our struggling local businesses.

On sunny, warm days we’ve gone to the park, and walked the trails.  And we were lucky that the number of cases in our area have remained relatively low and no one had died.

But that has changed.  This week, Ottawa County reported it’s first death from COVID-19.  Someone’s mother, someone’s, sister, or daughter or aunt has left us.  Our hearts go out to the family, friends and everyone who loved and cared for our first tragic victim and for all of those who are struggling to beat the virus right now.  This tragic loss underscores the need to step up our efforts.

We have done well, but it has not been enough.  We need to do more.  We need to do better.   And we will.  Together.

Yesterday, the Governor issued new, more restrictive measures to help prevent the spread of the virus.  For at least the next three weeks we must do more to limit our travel, our trips to the store, and our social distancing.  And we will.  Together.

This will be hard on our small businesses.  This will be hard on our traditions and celebrations.  This will be hard on families and friends who were hoping to celebrate Easter together on Sunday. 

For the moment, things seem dark.  But the sun will shine again and we will rise. Together.

We are a community that plans. We take a thoughtful and measured approach. Good plans are based on solid information.  As more testing is done, and more results come in, we will know better what additional steps we as a community may need to take to rise again.

Holland has always been a community willing to take on a challenge.  We have always been willing to work hard to achieve our goals. And we are doing that right now.

For the last several weeks I have been talking with leaders from across the community.  We are talking about the best way to help our businesses, our traditions and people through this darkness to rise again, together.

We are talking about how we will transition into the new normal that will arise in the weeks and months to come and how we will do that... Together.

And we are talking about how Holland can not only survive this darkness, but come out on the other side better and stronger than we were before.  And how we will rise again.  Together.

The first step is the OneHolland initiative.  The City of Holland, Downtown Holland, The Holland Area Visitor’s Bureau and Tulip Time have joined forces to share the message that we are all OneHolland.  Together our organizations are committed to the safety and well being of our local community and are committed to helping our entire community get through this current crisis.  More than ever before, we are committed to working together in the days ahead to ensure a bright and prosperous future for all of Holland.

Holland.  We will rise by working together.  It starts with a decision.  It starts with a commitment to work together for all of us.  You can be part of that commitment and show your support by sharing the message of OneHolland on social media and by purchasing a t-shirt or a tote bag bearing the OneHolland logo.  All of the proceeds will be split between Silk Screen Marketing, the local business printing the items and a Community Action House, a local charity helping improve the lives of residents in the Holland area.  This is just the first step in a greater plan.

We are One Holland and we will rise, together.

I continue to be incredibly impressed with our city staff, our first responders, our grocery clerks and garbage collectors.  Please, take the time to thank them.  And we have an incredible leadership team in this community; not just our elected officials, but also the leaders in our business and non-profit sectors.  They have working diligently and working together to create and implement solutions to benefit all of us.  Take the time to thank them as well.  This is an unprecedented situation and Holland is once again proving that we are a community with big dreams, big plans, and a willingness to do the hard work to achieve them.  We will all rise,  Together.

Please, follow social distancing rules.  Wear a face mask any time you may come in contact with another person.  And for the benefit of your family, your friends, your neighbors, and yourself, follow the Governor’s order regarding essential services and activities.  I was happy to learn that the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy continue to be considered essential services.  They will still be making visits, although due to limited access to stores, what they bring may be a little different this year.

Three weeks may seem like a long time.  But we can get though this.  April showers have always brought May flowers.  When the rains have ended and the skies have cleared, the sun will shine and we will rise again.  Together.

Until that day comes.

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

This is Holland.  ONE Holland.  And we get to live here.