Editor’s Note: This column is written jointly by Clinton County Commissioner Mike McCarty and Health Commissioner Pam Bauer.
It would be safe to say with a high degree of certainty that everyone is suffering from pandemic fatigue — even pandemic anger. We are all tired of wearing masks, or being told to wear masks, or walking halfway across a store parking lot only to remember that you forgot your mask.
It is getting more difficult each day to keep our distance from people in our lives that are considered high-risk. We understand that because we have the same feelings — we miss our friends and families, too.
Clinton County was relatively fortunate to have low numbers of confirmed cases this spring and early summer as the pandemic unfolded. Most people did their part by social distancing, wearing masks, washing their hands, and using inordinate amounts of hand sanitizer.
The seasonally nicer weather gave us the ability to enjoy and participate in more outdoor activities. All of these things created the perfect scenario to keep our cases and hospitalizations low.
Although there are many promising things on the horizon regarding vaccines, we must remain vigilant as we go into a season that drives us indoors and brings about our annual challenges with influenza.
Over the past month, confirmed cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations as a result of COVID-19 are increasing exponentially. From the end of March 2020 through Aug. 21, Clinton County had a total of 200 known cases of COVID-19. From Oct. 30, 2020 through Nov. 9, Clinton County recorded 200 known cases within that nine day period.
Combining those statistics with what we know regarding severe seasonal influenza complications and other major health issues is raising alarms for local and regional health care providers being able to provide adequate care to those needing their services. Healthcare providers will struggle to have the key people and resources necessary to continue operations in a manner which the public has come to rely and expect.
Many people ask if the state is going to shut down schools and businesses again. It is unlikely the state will do so.
The reality is that if we don’t all do our part to do the common sense things we know that will contain this virus, businesses and schools will shut down due to natural consequences. It is a common goal to ensure our county’s students get the education they deserve and we do the things necessary to keep our local businesses vibrant and healthy, while protecting the most vulnerable among us.
For more information on where to go for testing, visit https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/testing-ch-centers .
Mike McCarty is a Clinton County Commissioner and Pam Bauer is Clinton County Health Commissioner.