The challenges of the coronavirus continue

Subhead

Changing situation complicates reporting, but we can all do better to stop virus’ spread

Image
  • Ken Esten Cooke
    Ken Esten Cooke
Body

Readers, we are doing our darndest to bring you an accurate picture of this county’s challenges with the novel coronavirus. Dealing with different information sources, lag time between different agency reporting and a constantly changing information picture has its challenges.

But know that we are not “glorifying” the virus, advocating for maximum governmental orders or trying to present a “gloom and doom” picture. This is a serious illness, and it deserves coverage and whatever tips we can offer to halt its spread in our community. It is mostly spread by respiratory means and, to date, it has claimed the lives of 120,000 Americans and killed 465,000 worldwide.

We check with state websites, which are often a day behind what communities know. (We had planned to add recoveries to a graph last week, but at press time, checked the DSHS website and no information about recoveries at that time.)

We have posted near daily stories about COVID-19.

Some say we don’t celebrate the recoveries and only report negative news. Not all recoveries are like getting over a cold. There are often extensive hospital stays and lingering effects.

Also, we think 120,000 deaths throughout America is gloomy and deserving of reporting. We feel for our vulnerable populations, particularly the elderly, who have had to remain isolated while we clamor to get back to normal.

Let’s remember that 100-plus years ago, the Spanish Flu epidemic cost 50 million lives worldwide and remained a health threat for almost two years.

Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen on Monday had a strong reaction after Governor Greg Abbott’s talk about the spike in cases. Regardless of if one is a fan of Bonnen or not, his frank talk needs more airing in today’s Texas:

“I have become increasingly infuriated by so-called advocates who are ditching the mask in the middle of a pandemic as an expression of freedom and liberty, while expressly killing the freedoms and liberties we cherish: The liberty and freedom to go to work. The liberty and freedom to have customers that keep you in business. The liberty and freedom of going to churches, restaurants and concerts with your family and friends. The liberty and freedom of sending your kids off to school. The liberty and freedom of a thriving economy for everyone.

“If these so-called patriots persist in flaunting their disregard for others, we’re in for a very long, dark summer with a deadly array of medical and economic consequences — not because of government restrictions, but because these agitators have fueled uncertainty and fear within decent and responsible individuals who understand the health risks and the consequences of our medical resources being strained beyond capacity.

“It’s time to mask up. It’s time to employ personal responsibility — a key tenet of ensuring liberty and freedom. It’s time to stand up to the mask naysayers who speak loudly but act irresponsibly as they destroy the liberty and freedom we ALL deserve.”

             We can’t say it any better than that.

 

---

So, we all know what to do to halt this spread, right?

Experts today are less concerned about the virus spread through surface contact, food and outdoors, and more concerned about respiratory spread by close interactions between people.

It’s time to stop neglecting the recommended precautions as we see our Lone Star State’s cases spike again, setting new daily infection records. Just because businesses have reopened again doesn’t mean we can ignore all advice from medical professionals.

And we know our older citizens and their loved ones are tired of feeling like they need to isolate. The least we can do is give them a hand to help stop the spread.

The dangers of this virus are still front and center and the risks of spread are still with us. As far as we have come to halt it and get back to business, it would be awful to allow it to shut everything down again. Let’s do what we can now and sacrifice so that one day we can all look back on this episode as a distant memory.

 

MUST-DOS to STOP THE SPREAD

• Wearing a mask is the easiest and single most important thing we can do to halt the spread. This is a respiratory illness that is spread by droplets caused from coughing or sneezing, and experts say masks help stop the spread.

•  Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.

•  Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

•  Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing.

•  Put hand-shaking on hold when we greet someone.

•  Continue to clean and disinfect surfaces and objects handled by someone else.

•  Maintain physical distance — at least 3 feet, but preferably 6 feet — whenever possible.

•  Replace in-person meetings with online when possible.

•  Stay home if you do not feel well.