Mayor Jaffer’s Weekly Video Message – 4-12-20

Posted on April 12, 2020

Montgomery Township Mayor Sadaf Jaffer provides a message to the community about COVID-19 and latest developments in a video communication on Sunday ( 4-12-20), posted on the Township’ website and on our Facebook page. Go to (and Like Us!):

www.facebook.com/InMontgomeryNJ

Here is the text:

Hi Everyone,

I’m mayor Sadaf Jaffer with a COVID-19 community update for Sunday April 12. As of 9am this morning we have 47 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Montgomery residents. I’m would also like to announce that Somerset County and Hunterdon County, in collaboration with Raritan Valley Community College, will be opening a COVID-19 drive-thru testing site on Thursday, April 16. Testing will be by appointment only and a valid doctor’s prescription is required. For more information, please visit: www.co.somerset.nj.us/covid19status.

I know these updates comes during an important holiday weekend for many. My family is celebrating Easter by decorating eggs, having an egg hunt, and eating special foods. Whatever your traditions are at this time of year, I send my warmest wishes to you all.

I understand that this season is markedly different this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. For those who celebrate Easter or Passover, there may be a sense of loss of worshipping together with your religious community, though many of our local religious institutions are finding ways to use technology to provide virtual holiday services. For others, there may be a sense of loss related to traditions around the start of the spring, particularly with the need to stay out of parks and public spaces. Though this is a difficult adjustment, I want to thank you for your valuable sacrifice. We need to protect frontline workers and do what we can to support our healthcare system as it faces unprecedented challenges. By staying at home, you are saving lives.

This global pandemic is undermining our ability to be together physically, but we can and should remain connected. That is why many now prefer the term “physical distancing” over “social distancing.” It is vital that we remain socially connected, even while physically apart. One way you can help—or be helped—is to try to place at least one phone call daily, or reach out in another way, to a member of your family or your community. Check to see if they are all right and let them know how YOU are doing. We all need support. Montgomery Township has been sharing daily updates for the community that include mental health and self-care resources. You can keep up to date with these by signing up for our e-bulletins right on our website at www.montgomery.nj.us. I am also pleased to announce that the municipality and school district are working together to create a collaborative resource to connect and serve our entire community at this time. I am grateful to the President of the Board of Education Joanne Tonkin, and Acting Superintendent Mary McLoughlin for their cooperation and enthusiasm for this initiative.

In honor of National Poetry Month, I’d like to share a poem that speaks to renewal. Whether you believe in a higher power, or in the significance of nature, or the vastness of the universe, I hope this poem will resonate. It is by a poet and Neoplatonic philosopher known in Hebrew as Shelomoh ben Yehudah ben Gabirol and Sulaiman ibn Yahya ibn Jubayrol in Arabic who lived and wrote in Spain from (c. 1022 to 1058-70). The poem is entitled “Send Your Spirit” and translated from the Hebrew by Peter Cole:

Send your spirit
to revive our corpses,
and ripple the longed-for
land again.

The crops come from you;
you’re good to all—
and always return
to restore what has been.

I’m hoping and praying for health, happiness, and renewal for our community this weekend.