Antietam 1863? World Trade Center 2001? San Francisco Quake 1906? Pearl Harbor 1941? American Hospitals this week? What do they have in common?
High one-day death tolls in the thousands! But almost every day this month of December 2020 the horrendous one-day Civil War battlefield casualties deaths from the terror attacks by our outside enemies have been exceeded by the 24-hour deaths from the Covid-19 epidemic.
The FDA is expected to shortly release several million doses of vaccine from the massive Pfizer Drug Company refrigerators – possibly next week! That news is wonderful, and finally gives us a measure of hope for the future. But based on even the most optimistic projections, widespread vaccination will only take place by mid-year.
The allocation of the first supplies of vaccine will dribble out shortly one hopes: 300,000 to the most populous states; 50,000 to middle-sized states and 5,000 to the smallest states like Delaware, Hawaii, Rhode Island, and the Dakotas. Rightfully, priority must be given to protecting our cherished healthcare frontline workers and elderly neighbors in nursing homes!
So, the message from health authorities and community leaders – from President-elect Joe Biden down – is clear! For the foreseeable future:s “Stay Masked; Keep Social Distancing; Avoid Gathering Indoors; Wash or disinfect Hands Regularly!
The coming religious and new year’s holiday season presents a truly ghastly prospect. The present rising spike in cases, hospitalizations and deaths that we are suffering is due in large part to poor discipline, lack of really caring for loved ones, weariness from the restrictions, and misplaced bravado that occurred during Thanksgiving Days.
Our failure to protect ourselves has caught up to us.
“The next three months are going to be just horrible,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health on Public Television this week.
Emerging from under its total domination by Soon-to-be Ex-President Trump, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now urges us to minimize holiday travel and cancel big gatherings. Adhering to these warnings may save tens of thousand of lives! This could amount to 130,000 lives of loved ones by February according to statisticians at the University of Washington.
Mr. Biden is planning to deal with the pandemic with far more widespread testing, delivered free; a ban on out-of-pocket costs for medical care for the virus; having the military build temporary hospitals if necessary; cooperation with American businesses to create more personal protective gear and ventilators; and more food relief for the poor. According to other experts, even more stringent measures might have to be considered, some presently quite unpopular: enforced mask laws, closing bars and restaurants, requiring regular testing in schools and workplaces, isolating the infected away from their families, prohibiting travel from high-prevalence areas to low ones, and imposing quarantines that are enforced rather than merely requested.
The community of faith has another important remedy. Prayer! Let us all incorporate that when we are with those family members we live with, or friends and associates we zoom with, or when we are alone with our creator in the coming weeks. Ted Behr