November 17, 2020

A cautionary tale

Tragic word out of North Dakota today. That state is facing the double whammy of resistance to masking and a rural, overwhelmed hospital system. Their rate of dying from COVID-19 is higher than anywhere else in the world. South Dakota is 3rd. Now, finally, North Dakota’s governor has enacted a mask mandate, too late for many; but the governor of South Dakota still refuses to call for a mandate. I worry about the overwhelmed and over worked health care workers.

Situations like that make me happy I live in Washington State where our governor and our health departments have been on top of the situation. We are now starting new restrictions today based on our rising cases. Hard for restaurants and people who work at them. Yet, people will ignore the recommendations, including the size of gatherings, which will cost lives. A recent wedding in Washington state earlier this month had 300 (!) guests. Already over 40 documented infections are connected to it.

We are in the middle of the pandemic and fatigue is real. Vaccines are coming but not for a while. We know how to maintain our safety, but it would be so easy and tempting to take a break, especially for Thanksgiving and the other holidays. Don’t do it! Read this tale from Knute Berger, a local writer, about what happened in Seattle in 1918 at the end of World War 1. This was during the Spanish flu pandemic. The city relaxed its restrictions and the virus came roaring back with high death rates.

Wash your hands, cover your nose, keep safe six, and maintain focus. We can all give thanks together later.

And finally, my caveat is that this is my experience and my opinions, which are subject to change as more information is available, and not related to the organization I work for. Thanks for reading.

https://view.s6.exacttarget.com/?qs=030490d83770fb53114052034263ac6a0483e6e04489268698885b08f3eaa54a97a86374d5638430ea69e3786b117452eba2af77af33b75be3f3d552d9848d11d130e9d07aac739149f875363086d47d

https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/526324-north-dakota-records-worlds-highest-covid-19-mortality-rate

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/health/17-cases-two-covid-19-outbreaks-connected-to-washington-state-wedding-with-300-guests/

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/states-reopen-map-coronavirus.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/17/health/gallup-poll-coronavirus-vaccine.html