Residents must do their part to stop the spread

Friday, October 16, 2020

The McCook City Council has some important items on its agenda for Monday, but one item should be a slam-dunk.

There should be no debate about supporting the McCook Chamber of Commerce’s proclamation urging citizens to follow public health recommendations to help keep our schools and businesses open.

More importantly, however, is the need to make sure those who do contract the COVID-19 virus are able to receive the care they need.

For that to happen, a number of things need to be in place.

If it’s a mild case, it might be handled by a simple call to a healthcare provider and a few days in quarantine.

Or, it might take a visit to a clinic -- call first before you go in.

If symptoms occur suddenly, it might require an ambulance. But what if some of the paramedics are in quarantine after being exposed to someone with a coronavirus? In a community as small as ours, it wouldn’t taken many such cases to severely cripple the system’s ability to respond.

The same goes for the emergency department waiting to receive such patients and hospitals responsible for their care.

They already have a limited number of beds, and may find larger, out-of-town hospitals unable to accept sicker patients.

The term “flatten the curve” hasn’t been in use much lately, but that’s still what we need to do -- anything we can to slow the spread of the virus to give our first responders and healthcare system time to respond.

As a reminder, here are the current recommendations for the Southwest Nebraska Public Health District in regard to going out in public:

• Stay at home unless traveling for work, medical care or food.

• Face coverings are strongly recommended for anyone over 2 years old

• Frequently wash hands and use hand sanitizer when hand washing isn’t possible.

• If sick with flu-like or COVID-like symptoms, stay at home. Minimize contact with symptomatic people and check temperature daily at work.

• Avoid bare hand contact with any high-touch surface.

For adults over age 65, anyone with underlying health conditions and othe populations at heightened risk from COVID-19:

• Stay at home as much as possible

• Rely on help for needs outside the home (groceries, medications, ets.)

• Distance from those working outside of the home.

More information on latest conditions in the SWNPHD area are available at https://bit.ly/3doPlu9.

We urge the City Council to pass the proclamation for the mayor to sign, and we hope the public takes it to heart.

Wearing a mask is not a political statement, but simply an indication that one is willing to put up with personal inconvenience in order to help keep others safe.

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