The global pandemic has created a new normal for everyone. It’s hard to adjust to following the public health recommendations from medical professionals and accept the daily inconveniences necessary to stay safe from the coronavirus.

I get that. We’ve been living our lives isolated from family and friends and away from our regular routines.  But as our city’s businesses re-open and we resume more of our usual activities, we still need to follow the CDC guidelines for social distancing, masking up and sanitizing.

COVID-19 hasn’t left the City of Houston. This virus kills. And we cannot afford to let our guards down.

I am a father, an uncle and a friend. As your mayor, I am asking you to Mask Up to save lives, including your own.

Mask Up and stay six feet away from others to protect yourself and them. The CDC says that keeping space between you and others is one of the best tools we have to avoid being exposed to this virus and slowing its spread here in Houston and across the country and world.

CDC now estimates that a third of all people in the US who have this virus do not exhibit symptoms and that 40 percent of coronavirus transmission occurs before people feel sick. You can find a testing location at or call 832-393-4220.

 Mask Up to show your love for your family and friends. Using bandanas and other simple cloth face coverings helps to slow the spread of the virus by people who may have the virus and don’t know it.

So far in Houston, more than 160 people have died from COVID-19 and hundreds more have been diagnosed.  Tony Pierce, one of my fraternity brothers, died from complications of pneumonia and COVID-19. His wife Gayle and daughter Nia are now living a new normal that will never change. Their future will always be without Tony by their sides.

“Stop being macho. Stop trying to be cute. Put the mask on,” Gayle Pierce said at a recent news conference at City Hall.

Please listen to the warnings from the Pierce family, the physicians, public health officials and government leaders.

We can’t afford for this virus to get out of control. If we have another large outbreak, our economy will stop again, and the stay-at-home orders could go back into place. But, most importantly, more people will die.

Start or continue to Mask Up with a proper mask or face covering. Wash your hands. Keep a physical distance of six feet from others who are not members of your household.

All of our lives depend on each one of you.