City, faith leaders stress social distancing for holiday weekend: 'Threatening our way of life'

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Commissioner of Health Jeanette Kowalik and faith and community leaders reminded the public on Friday, April 10 of the importance of social distancing, particularly during the upcoming holiday weekend.

"We know on a very personal level how important this is," said Mayor Barrett, referring to the holiest week of the year for multiple faiths.

The mayor broke down the word "hope" by its letters -- to talk about this issue. He said the "H" is for home, a place where you can go. "O" is for opportunity or jobs, the mayor said. The "P," the mayor said, is for prayer or purpose. Lastly, the "E" is for education. The mayor said if we have each of these things, there is hope in our lives.

"That is something we're desperately looking for in our community," Barrett said.

Commissioner Kowalik referred to this time of year -- and its focus on sacrifice.

"What we're doing as a community, as a state, and many parts of the country is sacrificing what we are accustomed to doing, what we normally like to do, and what we're comfortable with for the future," Kowalik said. "So COVID-19 is a disease that's threatening our way of life."

Faith leaders also weighed in and stressed hope and patience. They say the common good is such an important part of the Safer at Home order -- and people have many, many options to practice their faith this weekend.