Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, says that with colder weather on the horizon and revelations of a surge in coronavirus cases, now is the time to be all the more vigilant in protecting ourselves and others in slowing the spread of the virus. “Low humidity and temperatures,” Cohen said, “the virus likes it.”
Talk to anyone, and he or she will have an opinion on the coronavirus.
Some of us are vigilant when it comes to protecting ourselves and others.
Others are cavalier, with minimal fear they will become infected, and they go about life as normal.
“This virus spreads most when people are gathered together,” Dr. Mandy Cohen, the state health director, said last week at Gov. Roy Cooper’s media briefing on COVID-19, “and not wearing a mask.”
And now, health leaders nationwide are saying the virus numbers are escalating in more than 40 states, including North Carolina, according to news reports, as a late autumn and winter draw closer.
“Low humidity and temperatures,” Cohen said, “the virus likes it.”
That’s reason for concern.
That’s reason for all the more caution.
There is some good news from Dr. Jennifer Green, public health director for Cumberland County.
“We currently have 6,029 cases with 82 deaths,” Green told me on Oct.12, noting that our county has a 6.3 percent positive testing rate. “We are seeing slight declines in Cumberland County.”
Forty-eight percent are black and 35 percent white, according to Green, and 18 percent Hispanic. Fifty-two percent are female, and 48 percent are male. Forty-four percent are between the ages of 25-49; 18 percent between the ages of 18-24; 18 percent between the ages of 50-64; 7 percent between the ages of 65-74; and 6 percent are 75 and older.
And Mike Nagowski, chief executive officer for Cape Fear Valley Health, is scheduled at noon today to present a virtual webinar on the state of our health system, including an update on how the pandemic is impacting the community as per Cape Fear Valley Health and frontline COVID-19 caregivers.
All of us, yes, have an opinion on COVID-19.
Some of us, yes, fear contracting the virus, and we are vigilant in protecting ourselves and those around us.
Some of us are rather indifferent.
The parking lot, for instance, at Cross Creek Mall on Saturday was inundated with vehicles and shoppers. A popular restaurant pub off of Morganton Road on Sunday evening was packed with vehicles and customers. So was a nearby chain restaurant.
No question, all of us are suffering from COVID-19 fatigue, now going on eight months.
Still, the numbers should tell us something – more than 6,500 infected in this county alone, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 dashboard, and 91 deaths. And nationally, more than 8 million confirmed positive cases, according to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine website, and more than 220,000 deaths.
Now, Dr. Mandy Cohen and universal health leaders to include Dr. Anthony Fauci, say beware of the coming months.
“Masks are preventing the virus you could have from spreading to other people,” Cohen says. “We want to make sure we are vigilant as we are working to slow this virus. This
virus spreads most when people are gathered together, and not wearing a mask. The mask protects you from getting the virus into the air. It’s most severe for those over 65, but not limited to those 65 and over. This can be a deadly virus to those with no underlying conditions. But it takes all of us working together, no matter who we are. All need be social distancing and washing our hands.”
And wearing face masks.
“We have a challenge,” Cohen says, “but we know what works.”
Bill Kirby Jr. can be reached at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or 910-624-1961