PHILADELPHIA – Mayor Jim Kenney today announced plans for a series of events and other symbols of reflection that will take place on Tuesday, March 16 to honor those lost to and impacted by COVID-19 over the past year. March 16, 2020 was the date Philadelphia announced its initial restrictions on all non-essential business activity and government services.
“Our lives were turned upside down one year ago when COVID-19 arrived in Philadelphia and, within a week of identifying our first case, we were forced to take immediate steps to halt non-essential activity in order to slow the spread of the virus,” said Mayor Kenney. “What we hoped would be a temporary setback has consumed every waking hour of our days and taken far too many lives. We’ve lost family members, friends, coworkers, and neighbors. Our physical and mental health, economic well-being, and human connections have all been impacted. As we continue to fight back against COVID-19, I hope Philadelphians will also join me in taking time to reflect on what we’ve all experienced together.”
Organized by the Office of the City Representative and Office of Faith-Based and Interfaith Affairs, the City has planned the following activities for Tuesday, March 16:
- Words of reflection from Mayor Kenney to kick off the day will be shared on @PhiladelphiaGov and @PhillyMayor social media accounts on the morning of March 16.
- Symbols of acknowledgment from places of worship—such as ringing bells, lighting candles, or other displays—to honor those lost to COVID-19 have been requested for 12 p.m. (Noon).
- The weekly COVID-19 press conference with remarks from Mayor Kenney and Health Commissioner Dr. Farley will take place at 1 p.m. Livestreams are available for members of the public on PHLgovTV, Comcast Channel 64, Verizon Channel 40, and on the Department of Public Health’s Twitter and Facebook pages.
- We Are a City Changed: Ritual and Reflection After One Year in Pandemic is a virtual event to mark one year of COVID-19 and its impacts on Philadelphia. Residents can join Mayor Kenney, the Office of Faith-Based and Interfaith Affairs, City officials, and local faith leaders for words, rituals, and music meant to reflect on what this year has meant and look forward to the days ahead. Members of the public can register for the event online or tune in on Facebook at 5:30 p.m.
- Buildings around the City will light up in blue at 7 p.m. to honor our frontline workers, first responders, and all the lives lost due to COVID-19.
Philadelphia residents, businesses and organizations are encouraged to use the hashtag #PhillyReflects to share their own reflections on the past year, as well as photos or videos from the various moments of acknowledgment scheduled throughout the day.
Learn more about how the City has responded to COVID-19 and its far-reaching impacts over the past year in this blog post.