What has been the most challenging part of covid19?
It’s the uncertainty, the unpredictability. What’s been really challenging is that we refer to those who have perished as numbers. More than 6,100 people in Massachusetts have died and in Somerville 23. In the Commonwealth that could reach 8,000 and almost 100,000 nationally. We need to remember to stop referring to them as 1 percentile, small percentage of the population but they are souls of our community - members of our families, our neighborhoods, our lives and there’s a real human toll that’s happening.
What has given you strength as a leader during covid19?
The community gives me strength and it’s been inspiring for me to hear and see how the community has stepped up to embrace one another, to look out for each other, to ask how they can volunteer; donate to the Somerville Cares Fund, deliver food, check in on our seniors and our school families. It’s been a true Somerville effort.
Who do you wear a mask for?
I wear a mask for the community but I really wear it for the most vulnerable in our community. The silent spread where we know there’s a greater transmission. The black, brown people, immigrants in our community who are on the front lines and have to go to work to provide for their families, put themselves at risk. And all our essential workers, nurses, doctors first responders - really for all them. We thank them for what they do.
*The Mayor's mask is made by Somerville artist Pauline Lim
Joseph A. Curtatone
53 years old
Mayor of Somerville, MA