On January 9, 2018, following the Thomas Fire, 23 people perished in a devastating debris flow that swept through Montecito.
Our community responded to this unthinkable loss with an outpouring of shock, grief and sympathy. We attended memorials, offered support as a community, and expressed condolences.
We were proud of our town, its tremendous response, its outpouring of love, and the Bucket Brigaders who worked hard to help their neighbors.
As of today, 23 souls within the cities of Santa Barbara, Montecito, Summerland, and Carpinteria have been lost to COVID-19.
Twenty three stories. Twenty three+ families. Twenty three lives built on work, love and life in Santa Barbara.
Twenty three individuals who appear as little black digits on the Santa Barbara County website, about whom we know nothing but their age ranges, but whose loss is profoundly felt.
And yet within the community of Santa Barbara, where is this unfathomable loss collectively reflected upon? Where are condolences offered, memories shared, and grief expressed en masse?
The continued declining of our city and county elected officials to acknowledge Santa Barbara’s collective loss, and their refusal to enforce the mandates that would save lives, and to keep our community safe, only add to our grief, daily.
God rest those 23 individuals that have passed. May their loved ones find peace in the days to come.