The bells of San Fernando Cathedral rang for one minute at 9:20 Thursday morning as San Antonio observed a moment of silence to memorialize those who have lost their lives to COVID-19 and to honor health care workers.  

Mayor Ron Nirenberg said he called for the moment of silence to remind residents that even though people are maintaining physical distance from one another now, “we are all intimately connected regardless.”

“This is a time where we are reminded strikingly how much we all depend on each other in this city by virtue of the work we have to do collectively to keep each other alive and healthy,” Nirenberg told the Rivard Report. “As we see the number of infections go up and lives continue to be lost, we are reminded of how fragile this situation is, and we need to take a moment to pause and recognize how much more needs to be done.”

The city-wide moment of silence occurred during the City Council meeting, where council members bowed their heads. Three of them – Councilwoman Adriana Rocha Garcia (D4), Councilman Roberto Treviño (D1), and Councilwoman Jada Andrews-Sullivan (D2) – attended the meeting via Skype.

In Bexar County, the coronavirus has infected 231 residents and killed nine.  

Nirenberg said he hopes the moment of silence will become a weekly event that will keep people thinking about how many people are being impacted by the rapidly spreading disease, and the work people are putting in to minimize its impact locally.

“When we see first responders and health care workers among those being infected, it’s important for us to pause and recognize that,” Nirenberg said. “This is a virus that is indiscriminately infecting people of every demographic and ability and level of health.”

Senior reporter Iris Dimmick contributed to this article.

Roseanna Garza

Roseanna Garza reports on health and bioscience for the San Antonio Report.