El Paso is in a crisis, and I’m watching it unfold, right in front of my home.

Over the weekend, El Paso County Judge Ricardo A. Samaniego put our city under curfew for the next couple of weeks to help flatten the upsurge of coronavirus cases in our city.

It's been a rough eight months for so many; I myself have been diligent in wearing a mask, social distancing, and limiting my outings to help prevent the spread of the virus.

While most of us seem to be heeding the warnings of this deadly virus, the number of deaths and an uptick in cases proves that some residents in our city are just not complying with safety guidelines.

City of El Paso Texas Divison of Emergency Management

So it’s come to this El Paso; a curfew and the conversion of the El Paso Convention Center turned into a health care facility in downtown El Paso. The State of Texas is also providing local hospitals with secondary medical equipment units and staff to help with the overwhelming number of COVID-19 patients in our city.

I happen to live a couple of blocks away from the Convention Center and watched over the last few days as crews brought in equipment and gear to set up the temporary hospital.

Not only is COVID-19 literally taking over my neighborhood, but it also makes me terribly sad to think of the people that will be laid out with COVID-19 in a building that was previously used for city events, where over the years, thousands of El Pasoans reveled in.

City of El Paso Texas Divison of Emergency Management

The stark reality of COVID-19 has struck me differently now that it’s unfolding in my front yard.  My heart sinks to think that this pandemic has the ability to bring more death and grief for so many in our community.

Months ago I made the conscious decision that I would hunker down until next summer because I knew that there was no way that this pandemic would end anytime soon.

As we near the end of the year, and hospitals reach capacity, we seem to be in worse shape than when all this started.

Please take caution, mask up, and stay safe, for you, your family, and those around you, because all our lives are at stake.

For more information on free COVID-19 testing or for any questions that you might have, visit epstrong.org.