Will our county escape the COVID-19 surge?

commentary

milt thomas

As we look at how the coronavirus is again spreading around the country – and the world – we have to ask ourselves, are we next? The states (and countries) that experienced the highest loss of life in the beginning took the necessary steps, including mandating face masks and social distancing, so their numbers rapidly decreased. They missed the second wave and were so successful combating the virus that they relaxed their mandates. Now they are experiencing the third wave, California most seriously. States and countries that did not mandate masks and social distancing are still struggling with the first wave, Florida and Texas among them.

Why is this happening? Simple. No cure exists for the coronavirus. So if you do not take the precautions seriously, you have no defense against this pandemic that has claimed over 220,000 American lives so far. While a safe vaccine will most likely be available to the general public sometime in mid- to late 2021, we have no choice but to follow these safety guidelines until then.

Indian River County is doing better than most. So far. In the four months between March 1 and July 2, we had registered 814 positive cases and 16 deaths. In less than the four months since then we have reached 3,818 positive cases and 122 deaths. But those numbers have actually fallen off considerably in the last month. The question is will it continue?

The answer again is simple. Without a vaccine, the only way to curtail or stop the spread of this pandemic is wearing a face mask and social distancing (as well as washing hands and when possible, self-isolating). Most folks adhere to these precautions despite misleading or totally false social media claims that masks are ineffective. Most businesses seem to be requiring face masks and/or social distancing; most people in businesses and public indoor places wear them.

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