The COVID pandemic brought about rapid, unanticipated change for all of us. The joy of the freedoms we take advantage of every day are now challenged. “How do we move forward and put this behind us?” are questions on everyone’s mind. I hate to say it but we are only in the early innings of a long game to play. This virus is not going away anytime soon and the recent statistics are overwhelming. Currently, just in Pondera County alone, our rate of infection per 100,000 people is 10X higher than in Los Angeles and New York City. We can do better than this!
I think the hardest part for many of us through all of this is the loss of control we feel. From large family vacations and get-togethers to a quick trip to the grocery store, we put them on hold or question if it is safe to do so. My best words of advice for all of us during this is to try to control only what we can control – our attitudes, our efforts, and our behaviors.
We have learned more about a novel virus and developed treatments faster than ever before, but these can only assist us so-far as we navigate the new normal. Additionally, Flu season is quickly approaching. This year is more important than ever to get your flu shot with coronavirus still rapidly progressing through our community. We don’t know what the ramifications might be having to fight both; and I don’t think we really want to know. Masking, handwashing, and social distancing are only part of our measures to protect us from catching or transmitting any virus. Vaccination mobilizes our own immune system to tackle the virus if it gets past our masks and gives us a much-needed second defense from getting ill from Influenza. Our families and friends deserve and need a break from illness. Please do your part. Get your flu shot AND wear your mask in situations where you cannot socially distance because you “don’t want to be the one” to pass it along to someone who may not fare as well as you if you happen to be ill. Grab a couple of extra bottles of hand sanitizer for your car or office desk. Wash your hands after touching any common surface. Be mindful of your personal space and keep at least 6 feet between yourself and any non-household member when interacting. If we do these three things, we will be able to prevent the vast majority of the viral spread of Influenza and Coronavirus in our community, and we can start reshaping our “new” normal as we put 2020 behind us and look to 2021.
Thank you for your cooperation. We are in this with you and appreciate the community support we’ve been shown. Stick with it!
Dr. Jay Taylor
PMC Chief of Staff