Borrego Sun - Since 1949

A Big Salute to CalFire


Last updated 4/16/2021 at 9:46am

Twelve long, trying months, ending with a celebration for us all to enjoy!

Believers and non believers in all of these activities have supported the culture of Borrego – to respect the opinion and choices of your neighbors. That is how we’ve gotten through these trying times with little strife and angst.

Recently, the Borrego Springs COVID-19 Task Force has promoted testing in the community and in the schools. Our latest, and hopefully last area of focus is to help as many Borregans who want it, to be vaccinated. The Borrego Medical Clinic has been maintaining and vaccinating many residents from their waiting list. We owe them our thanks. And, CAL FIRE has done a wonderful job of sending teams of paramedics to vaccinate us. Almost 2,000 of us have been vaccinated!

So, here we are at the end of a long, hard year. On April 18 at 4:30 p.m., we are going to have a Salute to CAL FIRE to thank them. Please join the procession, which will start to line up about 4 p.m. on Palm Canyon Drive above the XL gas station.

At 4:30 p.m., we will follow our Mayor, Andy Macuga, and a color guard from the American Legion to pass by the library and turn right on Sunset passing the steps where the paramedics from CAL fire will be standing. Wave and toot your horns to recognize all they have done for us.

It has been quite the year. So, we should thank them and celebrate our success in getting through this challenging season relatively unscathed.

Three members of the Borrego Valley Endowment Fund (BVEF), Bruce Kelley, Caroline Manildi and David Leibert, formed the Borrego Springs COVID-19 Task Force in March 2020. BVEF has funded most Task Force expenses. Martha Deichler, Betsy Knaak and Diane Johnson volunteered to be Task Force members and have contributed their knowledge of Borrego Springs, their connections to both English and Spanish speaking residents and their boundless energy. Betsy made her administrative staff at ABDNHA available to serve as the Task Force’s administrative support group.

We started by providing information about this new corona virus none of us were immune to - a website, many flyers, several webinars and too many emails and social media posts to count. The Borrego Sun, The Chamber, and 15 local organizations distributed this information.

Our NEED HELP: OFFER HELP initiative, the Food Banks, the Senior Center, and our financial assistance volunteers (Urmi Ray and Sanjiv Nanda) helped the homebound and others in need.

The Task Force provided posters that most businesses put up to tell customers they must wear masks and social distance when entering our buildings. Virtually all residents and most visitors wore masks and social distanced when close to others. That is probably the main reason our COVID caseload remained low. We currently have only two active cases and haven’t had more than four posted by the County at any time in Borrego Springs since The surges after Thanksgiving and New Years.

We developed relationships and received wonderful support from San Diego County District 5 Supervisor Jim Desmond and his staff, the County Department of HHS, the County testing staff and vaccination staff, Dr. Wilma Wooten and Dr. Sayone Thalolipavan, and CAL FIRE. The Task Force has coordinated efforts with our School District, with Borrego Health and with our State Park. The combined efforts of all of these groups has contributed to a culture of health which has kept Borrego Springs safer than most towns – in spite of the many visitors who come from all parts of the country.

From the Borrego Springs COVID-19 Task Force: Bruce Kelley, Martha Deichler, Diane Johnson, Betsy Knaak, David Leibert, Caroline Manildi

– Supported by the Borrego Valley Endowment Fund, private donors and a Federal Economic Stimulus grant obtained by application through San Diego County