• 68°

Dr. Edney: ‘We’re approaching the goal line. Let’s not spike the ball just yet.’

Below is an update and overview of the COVID-19 virus and the impact on Warren County by local physician Dr. Dan Edney.

Dr. Edney, of Medical Associates of Vicksburg, is a member of Gov. Tate Reeves’ COVID-19 task force.

The information below was posted on Dr. Edney’s Facebook page and republished by The Post with his permission.

 

Where do we now stand with this pandemic? Unfortunately, we are still at the peak.

Our mitigation strategy with first Sheltering in Place and now Safer at Home has blunted the surge and definitely flattened the peak down to a plateau. We have been at 200-250 new cases and 10-20 deaths per day for over 10 days and it has not started declining yet. We had anticipated that the new case number would be falling by now.

Deaths will remain at this level for about two weeks after the new case numbers begin to decline. Thankfully, we’re not seeing widespread transmission throughout the community but we are being hit in our nursing homes and industrial workers such as power plants, chicken plants, etc.; and this is around the state.

So what do we do now?

It’s obvious that a large number of people are understandably tired of the shutdown and are not following the Safer at Home directions, but thankfully enough have done so that it has helped protect our communities. We do have to open things back up but we must do so carefully and thoughtfully and at the right time.

We are still at the peak which means we have the largest number of infected individuals currently under treatment, but also the largest number of people who are asymptotic but infected and contagious.

For me, it is simple.

Dr. Thomas Dobbs is our state public health officer and Dr. Paul Byers is our state epidemiologist. They are the trained medical experts who are responsible for making the hard decisions and counseling the governor on what to do and how to do it. I’m talking and listening to them on an almost daily basis. I know them personally and have great professional respect for them both.

As a physician, I’m following their direction in how I operate my practice and my personal behavior and that of my family. Right now, there is no safe way to open a lot more up before May 11 when the current public health order expires, but hopefully, by then, we will be seeing the declination of new cases followed by the declination of deaths.

I truly believe that we are almost there if people will continue to starve the virus and stay at home just a little longer.

The main thing to understand is that this thing is for real.

I’ve been involved in diagnosing and treating patients since day one and have seen what it can do. Do not believe those who are trying to downplay the seriousness of this epidemic. I’ve never seen anything like it in my 29 years of practice but I do believe we are almost through the worst of it.

Also, understand that it’s not just about your health and safety but it’s about the safety of your vulnerable family members and neighbors that you can potentially infect. If you love them then protect them by staying home as much as you can, avoid crowds at all costs, wash your hands A LOT, and wear masks as much as you can around others in public.

We’re approaching the goal line. Let’s not spike the ball just yet.

Listen and follow the recommendations of the Mississippi Department of Health.