The Appeal’s articles on our county’s Covid-19 problems show we have a developing nightmare. Most factors contributing to this nightmare and its possible solution reside in our own community.

One factor involves people consciously taking risks by not wearing masks when in public, or meeting in groups for parties, etc., which accounts for 40% of our infections. After 10 months of constant warnings from all sources, this self-serving behavior is shameful when one considers the consequences: infecting family members and others, hospitalization, residual effects called the “long-haul syndrome,” death, incredible personal expenses and associated costs for immediate and long-term healthcare borne by our hospital and healthcare workers!

One would think that enforcement of the risk requirements, tiers 1-4 from the governor and the California Department of Public Health, could be handled locally to stem our increased rate of infection. One source would be our own law enforcement agencies; however, our Sheriff and police Chief have explicitly stated that they are not going to get involved! Both claim their focus is only on crime and “public safety” and not on any type of Covid-19/tier enforcement. That law enforcement is a non-participant in this pandemic – even something as simple as checking bars for the 10 p.m. curfew – is unbelievable! No other agency has the essence of authority to get people, proprietors, homeowners or ministers to follow Covid-19 protocols. Yet, they have opted out!

Another difficulty is the crosscurrents and the dismissal of statements and efforts made by our Bi-County Health Director Dr. Luu, our hospital, and others trying to reduce infections. An example is our Assemblyman James Gallagher. His well-established position of limited government directly bears on our local pandemic. The Appeal has quoted parts of a recent letter he distributed that gives accurate advice in staying safe from infection, but he concludes that we have options. He states the protocols from the state are advisory only. He states business owners, churches, schools and residents should/could disregard state rules. He lets his readers know, “The government can only take what you let them.” He concludes with, “We can and will overcome this as a “free society.” 

Dr. Luu states that the safety protocols are not advisory, they are to be taken seriously and that “community responsibility” comes before one’s own personal wants and desires in this serious pandemic. We do not live in a free, do-what-you-want society. Until vaccines end this nightmare, political philosophy should not upstage scientific evidence.

Finally, if we foolishly maintain the present status quo, herd immunity will dominate until a vaccine prevails. The solution to our Covid-19 problems seems so damn simple! If all of us do our best to follow the tenets, rules, protocols and curfews, the level of infections will decline to the point businesses, churches, schools, etc. can open with few if any restrictions. Clearly, the community resources are available if they are effectively used. Let’s do it; let’s not be victims.

Today, 11/25/20, all ICU beds at Adventist Health/Rideout are filled! Our Covid-19 overflow center is at Sleep Train Arena!

 

John Lewin,

Yuba City


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