We have a conference call once a week to hear from our two hospitals, the Angelina Counties & City Health District, county judge and emergency manager, and city of Lufkin public safety director and his department direct reports.

Each week we hear some disturbing numbers and then some encouraging news, and each week I continue to be impressed with the dedication each one of the agencies has for wanting to take care of the affected public and what we can do better to get over the hump and take the numbers down.

The one common thread that keeps raising its head is the lack of respect for social distancing. Our churches have done an outstanding job of observing the distance factor, but please continue to stay away if you have any fever or other signs of the virus. We are a long way from normal again, and my prayer is that we do not let our guard down too soon.

One death was too many and then it hit very close to my heart with a dear and special young lady passing away last week. Our 20-year-old grandson tested positive the same week and it certainly hit home to me just how vulnerable we really are. Let’s all listen and learn and try our best to stay healthy.

One touching part of this scary equation is watching our first responders perform in this difficult environment.

Thank you to the two young firefighters who unceremoniously walked into the crowd at Bronaugh Park and picked up a young lady and carried her in their arms out of the crowd and brought her back to her senses with no fanfare or recognition. They were there to do a job and they did it perfectly.

I also received a call from a dear friend that said one of his renters called him late one evening and told him that as they sat on their porch they observed three “young guys” acting a little silly and a Lufkin police patrol rolled by and the officer sat and visited with the boys a few minutes and then rolled away and there was no more disturbance.

Thank you Lufkin Police and Lufkin Fire employees for making us feel safe and watched over. Lufkin is where respect and care begins.

Youth baseball is in full play right now and the Fourth of July is coming fast. We need to enjoy family and trusted friends and continue to respect other people’s space and pray that the heat of summer will bring an extra helping of safety and health to our city and county.

Please be in prayer and best wishes as the Salvation Army management surveys our community and tries to reopen our Senior Day Care Center on Hill Street.

This treasured facility has been a tremendous benefit to families with participants for the last 20 years and is a beacon in our community that certainly has served many, many families since it first opened. It was shut down due to the virus and has placed several precious seniors in to making temporary arrangements for the past two months.

This unique facility has served a need no other community provides and has set Lufkin apart for its forward thinking for many years. A committee will gather this week to help decide the future of this worthwhile facility. My hope and prayer is for it to reopen and be well utilized in the near future.

We wish Lufkin city manager Keith Wright a relaxing and enjoyable retirement at the end of this month. Keith has served our city for more than 30 years and has certainly earned this time to himself and his family. Good luck, Keith and Amy.

Look out for your neighbors and friends and do something helpful and kind for them this week, and remember to wear your mask.

We will make it because God truly is in control.

Bob Brown is the mayor for the  city of Lufkin. His email address is mayorbobbrown@cityoflufkin.com.

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