By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Apr 05, 2020 at 9:01 AM

Fellow Milwaukeeans,

During these unprecedented times, our OnMilwaukee team has been working tirelessly to continue to bring you content which informs, educates and inspires. We have shifted our focus to ensure that we are doing all we can to keep you entertained, engaged and safe.

Yet, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage on, we are facing new challenges. Our local government has taken steps to encourage citizens to stay safe by shutting down non-essential businesses and enacting the Safer At Home mandate.

But their advisories have not been enough.

People all over the city continue to operate as if in denial,  blatantly disregarding safety guidelines and violating the premises behind social distancing. Kids are playing together in parks. College students are hosting parties. Consumers are ignoring common sense rules when grocery shopping. Adults are gathering with friends for wine and conversation. 

In doing so, they are risking both their own safety and the safety of others.

For this reason, we cannot remain silent. And we cannot stand by and watch as citizens endanger one another by continuing to socialize and carry on with their lives as if it has no impact upon others.

Social distancing means taking action

Like you, we miss collegiality. We miss gathering with our friends and family. We’ve even begun to miss our face-to-face work meetings. But we have given these things up, opting for remote communications over face-to-face, for the sake of public health. 

We've done these things because everyone is at risk. Even if you are young and you do not appear to be sick, you could still be a silent carrier of the COVID-19 virus. And every time you socialize, you are putting yourself and others at risk.

Social distancing means no play dates for your children. It means keeping your teenagers at home. It means no game nights at your house, no shopping in groups, no walking together, no driving in cars together. It means absolutely no gatherings, no matter how small they might be.

Social distancing means that employers need to be flexible. They need to allow employees to work from home. And, if they employ essential workers, they need to be cognizent of their employees' health above all else.

Social distancing means saying "No" when you are asked to engage in social activities. It means spending time in isolation.

And yes, it also means confronting others who are violating these guidelines. It might mean reporting gatherings you see to the police or other authorities, and it might result in losing friends or alienating family members. 

Nonetheless, we can no longer stand by and watch our hospitals fill with increasing numbers of infected people. We cannot stand by and watch as people around us die.

Every single day, frontline workers are putting their lives on the line for all of us. Please do not make their jobs any harder than they already are. 

We understand that making these sacrifices is difficult. Isolation is painful. But every single one of us needs to make short-term sacrifices for the good of our city. 

Please, if you can't do it for yourself, do it for everyone else.

With love,
The OnMilwaukee Team