Two months in, we have been scared, shocked and frustrated

Published 12:03 pm Tuesday, May 19, 2020

For two months now we have waited for our daily update.

In the beginning, we sat back and just waited for the first case. After that, we went a few days before the second case. From then on — with only a few breaks here and there — the number has continued to rise.

Just about the time we had grown close to numb to the daily updates, the almost routine nature of hearing about new confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus in our community, we had our first death. We were again rattled, again made nervous.

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Then again, the daily updates became routine; one case, three cases. Then, another death, but we were not as rattled this time.

And as the hearing or reading of the latest figures became almost routine, there were two consecutive days — April 30 and May 1 — with another virus-related death in our community.

It was then we became more aware of how the virus was attacking our community; from within our long-term care facilities, particularly nursing homes.

Early on, we had been warned this virus attacked the most vulnerable; the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions. There had been precaution after precaution taken to protect those residents, protect our elderly, but yet the virus still found a way.

Just this week, as we have started to calculate that while we have more than 130 cases in Warren County, knowing that a vast majority of those are now considered presumed recovered, we have also learned that most of the remaining active cases are connected to long-term care facilities.

That number — that high percentage of cases — can only increase as the state has just recently mandated that every resident of a long-term care facility, along with the staff, be tested in the coming weeks. With more testing will come more cases.

Even as we have seen the number of new cases decline, the rise in cases at our long-term care facilities is what is now most concerning.

It is concerning that while these residents have long been sequestered, the virus has found its way into our local facilities and is attacking those who are the least capable of fighting it off. And, what has made it worse, is that the state had repeatedly refused to report which facilities have reported cases.

In no way are we spectators in this fight. We are active participants, and having that information makes us, the general public, better able to help, better able to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

What has been consistent in this battle against the COVID-19 virus in the past eight weeks is that nothing has been consistent.

What we thought we knew in mid-March has been disproven or vastly changed. Just imagine what we will know in another eight weeks.

In these past few weeks, we have been scared, shocked and frustrated not only by the numbers but in some of the processes used in the fight and the way in which data is shared. Just imagine what will scare us, shock us or frustrate us in the coming weeks and months.