The supervisors have begun opening up our county because our businesses are suffering. Indeed they are. However opening up business without also taking control of the Covid-19 virus is a risk public health. Unless we have a clearer picture of the virus’ presence in our county it is very risky to go out. They have also made the wearing of masks voluntary. Public Health officials remind us that mask wearing protects others and not necessarily the persona wearing the mask. They remind us that the virus has a few very unusual features; a person can be ill without any symptoms thereby spreading the virus unwittingly, it can take as long as two weeks after contracting the virus for the symptoms to appear, children as well as adults can have mild or extremely severe cases. It is distinctly not a version of the annual flu bug we are all familiar with. Public Health officials also remind us that science and information should guide our reopening.
Compare what the state of Rhode Island is doing to safely start opening the state to what our supervisors have done.
•Rhode Island, population of 1.059 million, the number of tests done so far is 82,318 and the number of tests done yesterday is 2,945.
•San Bernardino County, population of 2.18 million, the number of tests so far is 26,656 and the number of tests done yesterday was 650.
Just simple math demonstrates that SB County is far behind the standard set by the governor of Rhode Island. We should have accomplished 178,336 at the very least. The diaily test total should be in the 6,000-7,000 range. Additionally, Rhode Island residents were asked to keep a contact journal to make contact tracing easier for the Health Department.
The governor is committed to keeping the people of the state safe, and as best she can, healthy. I wish our supervisors had that same passion for the people of SB County.
I am also startled by the number of Basin residents who object to the masks as government overreach. The masks are for the safety of your neighbors, the clerks in the store you frequent and the people who might meet unexpectedly. Wearing a mask is a common courtesy and concern for other people. None of us know are ill until symptoms develop and we could be contagious in spite of feeling well.
I miss my clubs and friends a lot. But I value their lives and my own life enough to believe what science and the public health officials are telling us about staying safe in a world-wide pandemic.