We got a problem folks.
And it’s not going anywhere anytime soon
Newaygo County has now eclipsed 1000 cases of COVID.
We’ve had 8 deaths and the pace of hospitalizations from the virus are cruising toward capacity and beyond.
And no community wants to face what ‘and beyond’ means.
The time for debating the relative authenticity regarding the pandemic and the efficacy of the preventive measures should be long past us by now. After all, science, medicine and reason outweigh conjecture and speculation right?
Because as implausible as it seems we are still having masking issues.
While certainly not limited to our community it is nonetheless our community we are speaking to when we implore everyone to just wear the damn mask.
It is not a sign of patriotism to go maskless or to make a choice to not believe the overwhelming evidence revealing the current situation. It is simply being in denial due to a lack of trust and/or the acceptance of misguided information.
And going maskless helps keep the virus thriving.
Here’s what is happening in our county
Total case trends from July to now:
July = 74
August = 47
September = 87
October = 151
November through 11/10 = 234 (that's just in 10 days!!
And from MIOSHA...
With COVID-19 cases steadily rising, MIOSHA has released updated remote work policies – requiring any employees who can work remote to do so. “Employers must prohibit in-person work when an employee’s duties can feasibly be completed away from the office. Remote work for office employees is a crucial mitigation strategy to contain the spread of COVID-19,”
And get ready when it comes to places of business because this press release from Indy Bank isn’t the last announcement of its kind we’re likely to see in the coming days...
“At Independent Bank, the health and safety of our customers, communities, and employees is our top priority. We have been closely monitoring the latest information on the COVID-19 pandemic. As of November 13, 2020, all of our branch lobbies will be available by appointment only as well as for loan closings. Our drive-thrus will remain open to serve your banking needs.”
And we are just scratching the surface of what is to come should the numbers continue to climb.
We asked Newaygo County Emergency Services Director Abby Watkins for her take on our current situation.
Those acquainted with Ms. Watkins are aware of her depth of knowledge when it comes to emergency preparation and mitigation and the excellence of her work which is recognized throughout the country
Those who are not aware of the skills and knowledge she brings to the table are those who have yet to meet her.
“First and foremost, I cannot say thank you enough for the opportunity to hopefully get this message out there. We need all the help we can get to change the path we are on, which is a very dark and bleak one. I do not normally take this much of a candid approach with my messages, but right now, I feel it may be the only way the community may understand the dire nature of the situation we are in.
“To be frank, we need help. We need to change the rate of spread of COVID 19 in our community. We need everyone to step up and mask up, stay 6 feet away from others not a part of our own household, and refrain from group gatherings. If we cannot slow the spread of this virus by working together we are going to break our public health and healthcare systems. If this occurs, the services the community depends on will be limited and in some cases no longer be available due to lack of resources, which include but are not limited to personnel, supplies, hospital beds and space, medications, treatment, and emergency medical transport.
“We are already seeing our local and regional healthcare and public health resources showing warning signs of becoming overwhelmed. Although a phenomenal effort is being put forward by the healthcare system, our providers are struggling to be able to provide standard, compassionate care for our community members. If we continue at this rate of spread and are unable to slow the spread of the virus, our healthcare systems will have to start implementing alternate standards of care. This means rather than doing everything possible to try to save every life, it will be necessary to allocate scarce resources to save as many lives as possible.
“Within Newaygo County we are currently averaging 25 new COVID cases daily. In addition, four of our community members have passed away in less than 2 weeks due to the virus. This is an extreme increase in cases and community exposures to the point our health department no longer has the resources to provide positive exposure information to keep first responders safe. In addition, contact tracing which helps with limiting the spread, is now taking an extended period of time to accomplish (3-4 days) which is ineffective in trying to contain the virus.
“As the holiday season approaches and we gather with friends and family to celebrate, we are pleading for our community to please hold your celebrations in a safe manner. For now, masking up, continuing to stay 6 feet from others, and refraining from group gatherings are our best chances to avoid bringing the virus home, keeping our schools and workplaces open, and containing COVID-19. This is a very serious virus and only by working together can we overcome these challenges and change the path we are on.”
Thank you Ms. W.
And to those who have chosen the maskless route...
Please put aside whichever of the seemingly endless yet implausible arguments you have for not masking and do us all a favor. Just humor us and go along with it long enough to mitigate the spread, could you?
If it would help, just pretend you’re in the middle of an elaborate video game called ‘Fight The Pandemic’ where you use masks to deflect incoming COVID projectiles.
We don’t care how or why you do it.
Just do it.
Just wear the damn mask.
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