We are in this TOGETHER!!!

Admittedly, this edition is a few days late. Several times I began typing and several times what I typed, I deleted. A week ago, our website received anonymous note asking if I would address COVID-19 and the outpouring of fear and concern that has swept throughout our city. With the increasing numbers of those affected nationwide and even the here in Riverside County rising daily, there is a cause for immediate concern. Leaders from across the globe are all racing for answers while encouraging us to take preventative and precautionary measures to halt the spread of this virus. For some, this is the first time they have ever seen anything like this. For others, it’s alarming because of the way that it has spread and the fact that it poses a great threat, especially to our Senior Community.

For more information on how our City Staff is handling COVID 19, please follow this link

I may not be a medical doctor, but thankfully I have some of the best doctors around working with me. As a leader in this community, I have had the honor of speaking and interacting with Congressman Raul Ruiz, MD and several other healthcare professionals in an effort to better understand the virus and how to protect and prevent it from spreading. Many may not know, but I have a compromised immune system myself and a somewhat rare lung disorder. So, to read that a virus is spreading like wildfire and attacking respiratory systems, it’s definitely an eye opener. But I believe. I believe that one day soon this will be behind us. I believe that we have some of the greatest researchers in the world, and that these researchers will soon have a solution. That part is in their hands, but there are a few things we can do as a community while we wait.


The word community is derived from a Latin word ‘communitas’. The word means or reflects a concept of fellowship, which in turn is based in another communis, or “common”. Webster’s Dictionary goes on to define community as a unified body of individuals:

a: the people with common interests living in a particular area
b: a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society

Those two definitions really encapsulate the spirit of Desert Hot Springs, but the part that stands out to me are the words “common characteristic”. It is my opinion that these common characteristics that we share make DHS the greatest city in the valley. What are these characteristics you ask? Well, there’s our resilience. Our overwhelming willingness to serve. Our ability to see that we are as strong as our weakest group. Our compassion and lastly, our pride. We have laughed together (the humor concerning the Palm Drive repair), cried together (most recently concerning the passing of Richard Cromwell and others). We have rallied to support our High School sports teams together! On any given Friday night, many of us pour into the stands and cheer like a rabid fanbase. We have prayed together, dined together, celebrated each other, and marched together. Truly, we are a community!

I say this because amidst all the frustration, angst, and uncertainty, we cannot lose sight of the fact that we are a loving, giving, unified community!


Let’s change the narrative and show the direct opposite of what media and social media outlets are showing us. I’m asking that we remain considerate, especially when shopping for groceries and household supplies. Please understand that when one or more persons engage in over-shopping (also known as panic shopping), many others may not be able to find the things they need. Remember that for our seniors (the Senior Center has closed), this virus is extremely dangerous for them and they may be unable to leave home for groceries themselves. There isn’t a need to hoard items, as there is enough for everyone and shelves are being restocked daily! Consider our homeless also, even more now that the weather has been changing and becoming rather unpredictable. Many residents are now forced to choose between working and staying home to care for their children as our School District has announced that schools will be closed until April 30th. Let’s make an effort to support our local businesses as much as possible. The new ordinances have placed restrictions on the ways they are allowed to conduct business. Let’s show appreciation to our grocery store workers who tirelessly work around the clock to sanitize the stores, stock the shelves, and smile. Consider the anxiety that our students are currently experiencing, especially our graduating seniors who may not get to experience a prom or even graduation. And finally, our City Government leaders, Police and Fire Departments, spiritual leaders, educators and medical professionals. They are all under immense pressure and they really need our thoughts and prayers.

(pictured, one of our local grocery store workers. James can be found at Stater Bros. serving with a smile!)


“One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn’t as individuals.” – Jean Vanier

This is our charge… LOVE. Let’s love our community by loving each other. I believe that the only way to get through this is by becoming the neighbor that we desire to have. We can do this DHS, this is what we are all about…ADVANCING DHS. This hashtag is a constant reminder that regardless of how dark things may appear, we can shine bright #DHSstandUP!

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