Your Neighbors Need You
Everyone is making preparations for major disruption due to the need to contain and mitigate the Coronavirus. As a rural community, this is the time to take an inventory of your street and your neighbors. People over 70 have a case fatality rate between 12% - 15%. The rate is also very high for people with chronic medical conditions like pulmonary disease, diabetes, or any immune compromise. These are our most vulnerable people. People in this category will need to limit their social contact extensively. That will make them feel like "shut-ins".
This is the right time - today - to leave your telephone number or email at your vulnerable neighbor's house. Tell them you can bring them food or meals and leave them at the door. Young people who can drive can pick up medication and drop it in the mailbox. Oxygen tanks - for those who are dependent on oxygen - should be full. Everyone should request a 90 day supply of medications and hope it gets covered by their insurance. Many pharmacies, including Stop & Shop and Walmart have extensive 90 day drug lists that cost $10.00 for ninety days. https://www.walmart.com/cp/4-dollar-prescriptions/1078664
Older people who have some technology ability should learn to use Facetime or Skype so they can connect to friends and family. Young people, who may show very few symptoms of disease, should not visit older people if we are trying to protect them. If they do visit, they should do excellent hand washing and keep 6 feet of distance.
As of today (3/17/20) there are no confirmed cases in Franklin or Hampshire Counties. There is one confirmed case in Hampden County and 11 confirmed cases in Berkshire County. We may still be able to contain and slow this illness in our region. There are many COVID19 trackers available (Johns Hopkins, New York Times), including this one from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html#2019coronavirus-summary
The United States is running about 2 weeks behind Italy in terms of disease prevalence. That is the current model of how this could unfold in the US. Follow the news out of Italy closely. Get your news from very reliable sources. Do not rely on Facebook, forwarded emails, etc. Before you even respond to this, make an inventory of your neighbors and people who are vulnerable and write them a point of contact note. Your neighbors need you.
Posted: to General News on Tue, Mar 17, 2020
Updated: Tue, Mar 17, 2020