A Message from King County Creative Economy Strategist, Kate Becker

One month ago today, I was appointed to a temporary role as the Public Health Communications & Outreach lead for the creative industries throughout King County, as well as for all events over 50 people. It’s been quite a month. I’ve had my heart broken more than a few times. Many of my friends are newly unemployed, the majority of them for the first time. So many people I love have had to make terrible decisions – closing their businesses and organizations, canceling shows and events, and laying off their staff. A few of my friends are COVID-19 positive. The vaccine for COVID-19 remains on a distant horizon, while scientists scramble to find a way to protect us all.

And yet, through all of this struggle and these gut-wrenching twists and turns, I’m inspired by the compassion and responsibility our community has exhibited. Our towns are mostly shuttered, but for the noble folks on the front lines of our medical teams and essential services. Our leaders and Public Health officials are relentless in their commitment to flattening the curve. And, fellow citizens, you have been extraordinary – hunkering down and keeping yourselves and others safe, making masks for our medical teams, teaching your children at home, and finding ways to survive in our new normal.

Simultaneously, while we’re in this restricted state, we have all eyes on the future. We’re working with multiple levels of government and philanthropy to garner support for the creative industries and all who work in them. Today, many of you will apply for the Payroll Protection Program, in an attempt to retain your employees and brace your businesses and organizations for your post-COVID-19 (re)Opening Day.

Yesterday, Governor Inslee announced that we need to stay in this hunkered down state until at least May 4th. Thirty-two more days of holding steady. Hopefully, you all have a safe place to spend these days, food to eat, and good company– either in your home or via virtual connections.

Governor Inslee, King County Executive Constantine, Mayor Durkan, all of our elected officials, along with some military forces, Public Health, and Emergency Management officials continue to work to anticipate our community’s needs in the coming days. Peak infection rates are estimated to be in mid-April. I am grateful for the proactive leadership we have.

While the news is grim, and much remains unknown, we do know that we are resilient. We have risen to this occasion by making great personal and professional sacrifices in order to flatten the curve. Collectively, we are making a huge difference that is saving lives. Thank you to each and every one of you for doing your part to protect yourselves and your neighbors.

We will get through this together. And once we do, I suspect that we will know ourselves and our community better than we did before, and have a deeper understanding of what we are collectively capable of. That newly discovered knowledge should make us unstoppable as we rebuild this region that we love.

I salute your resiliency and look forward to brighter days.

#staysafe #stayhealthy #flattenthecurve