Philadelphia

Mayor Kenney Talks ‘Spirit' Amid Coronavirus in Open Letter to Philly

'Take comfort knowing that when we’re through this, we will once again enjoy all that Philly has to offer,' Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney wrote

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What to Know

  • An an open letter to Philadelphians, Mayor Jim Kenney writes of tough weeks and months ahead as the city deals with the deadly novel coronavirus.
  • The letter, released Friday, also urges everyone to do their part through social distancing and good deeds.
  • "We will realize that the silence which now pervades the streets of Philadelphia was not, by any means, a sign of defeat.," Kenney wrote. "Rather, it was the abundant evidence of our resilience."

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has a message for his city as weeks of coronavirus-related closures and social distancing continue with no official end in sight: the spirit of Philadelphia remains strong.

In an open letter to “fellow Philadelphians” posted early Friday, the Democratic mayor talks about the temporary silence the virus has created in the normally bustling metropolis.

“Today, the streets are quiet,” Kenney wrote. “Most residents are heeding our order to stay at home. Businesses are shuttered. Playgrounds, schools, and houses of worship are empty. We are waiting, hoping, praying, and mourning those who were lost.

“But I write to tell you that even amid our silent streets, the spirit of this great city has not, in any way, been diminished by this virus.”

Kenney talks about what people can do to feel a sense of community despite being stuck in their homes with nowhere to go. “The greatest single contribution you can make is simply to do the basics: stay at home, wear a face covering if you must go outside, and wash your hands frequently,” Kenney wrote.

He also realizes that people want more and suggests making phone calls to lonely neighbors, getting take-out or delivery from local restaurants and donating the PHL COVID-19 Fund.

Take comfort knowing that when we’re through this, we will once again enjoy all that Philly has to offer—whether it be a crowded festival on South Street, a sunny picnic on Belmont Plateau, a stroll in the Italian Market, or a block party on North Fifth Street in Fairhill.

Mayor Jim Kenney

The letter came out just hours before Philadelphia announced its deadliest day yet in the coronavirus pandemic as 33 more deaths were reported bringing the total number of virus-related deaths to 137 deaths. Nearly 6,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Philly.

Kenney got emotional while speaking about Good Friday and Easter during his Friday coronavirus news conference, asking for everyone to keep each other in prayers. “God bless us all.”

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney seemed to grow just a little emotional Friday as he reflected on Easter, asked for prayers for everyone and asked people not to visit their elderly loved ones.

Kenney, in his letter said, “we have weeks if not months to go before the crisis eases.”

“Take comfort knowing that when we’re through this, we will once again enjoy all that Philly has to offer,” Kenney wrote.

“When we get all of that back, we will stop and remember the sacrifice, the loss, the pain of this time. We will realize that the silence which now pervades the streets of Philadelphia was not, by any means, a sign of defeat. Rather, it was the abundant evidence of our resilience.”

Click here to read Kenney’s full letter.

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