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Do You Want New Bern to Reopen? Wear a Mask and Practice Social Distancing!

Protect Our Community
Red Cross volunteers making gauze face masks, Butte, Montana during 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic. Photo by The American Red Cross.

This photo was taken when America was at war and so many young servicemen were dying from the Spanish Flu of 1918. It lasted two years and infected 1/3 of the World’s population. If we don’t get in a habit of wearing masks/facial coverings, staying 6 feet away from others, washing our hands (or using sanitizer), etc. – the Coronavirus will be as deadly as the Spanish Flu. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is different from the Spanish Flu, but if we don’t learn from history, it will repeat itself!

I believe that we all want to get back to normal day life, unfortunately, those days are long gone until there are effective treatments and a vaccine.

If I Fail, He Will Die was how I felt while serving as a Navy Hospital Corpsman. If you haven’t served in the military, you may not understand that we needed each other. There was a sense of camaraderie and we had each other’s back.

Now is the time for all of us to have each other’s back and make sacrifices to protect our community! Think about it this way, If We Fail, They Will Die.

Fact vs. Fiction

According to John Hopkins University of Medicine, today, 972,969 people tested positive and 55,118 people died in the United States in the last 2 1/2 months. I’m emphasizing “tested positive”. Nobody knows how many people are infected or who has died. We do know that 5,441,079 tests were performed. That doesn’t reflect the number of people tested. It only reflects the number of tests performed. One person can be tested numerous times. There are at least 330 million people living in America. Less than 2% of our population has been tested.

At this point does it really matter. Yes.

– Some people truly believe that more people died from the seasonal flu. Here are the statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), their estimates between October 1, 2019 – April 1, 2020, 39,000,000 – 56,000,000 people were infected from flu illnesses and between 24,000 – 62,000 people died. Keep in mind that’s a six-month period,

– Others are afraid they will infect themselves or their loved ones. There are too many unknowns about how this virus is spreading.

According to the CDC, we do know the virus is killing people of all ages. People at higher risk include those:

– living in nursing homes/long-term care facilities

– with underlying medical conditions like chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma

– serious heart conditions, people who are immunocompromised, (Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications)

– with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)

– with diabetes

– with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis

– with liver disease

If you think “I’m healthy and I won’t get the virus. I just want to go back to work”, that’s not true. You may get the virus and not even know it. That is why it’s so dangerous. This is a highly infectious respiratory disease. It has killed young, healthy people.

Think about the healthcare workers and first responders

We have a Stay At Home order to prevent our Hospitals and Healthcare networks from getting overwhelmed! It’s not a political conspiracy. We are living through a Worldwide Pandemic…it’s a public health emergency!

Although Craven County’s “positive tests” are 39 and four people have died. You may think the numbers are low, but community spread has already begun.

I encourage you to stay at least 6 feet apart, wear face masks/coverings, and use hand sanitizer when you don’t have access to soap and water. If you don’t, it will only be a matter of time before the amount of people infected overwhelm our hospital and healthcare systems. There has already been one death of a worker at CarolinaEast.

Don’t let social media fuel your anxiety

I’m disheartened to read social media posts like, “Our liberties and freedoms were taken away”. Especially, people living in New Bern.

Please tell me how? You can go to parks, to the Post Office, banks, pharmacies, stores, etc.

Think about our veterans who served during WWI, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam, in Iraq, Afghanistan…and the list goes on. Think about the hardships that our service men and women face every day (i.e. Sailors have nowhere to go when they are at sea, working around the clock, and may not see sunlight for days).

Don’t let history repeat itself

If you don’t believe me, think about the American Red Cross workers who said in 1918, “If I fail, he will die” and replace it with “If We Fail, People Will Die”. Don’t let others die alone because you refused to take precautions (face masks, hand washing, social distancing, etc.).

Now is the time to sacrifice for our community and country!

I truly believe that New Bern can reopen. It all depends on all of us!

Wendy Card