A message from the Clinic: ‘It is time to put community above self’

March 20, 2020
By Marcy Shortuse

BY DALY WALKER, MD – The Coronavirus is now moving explosively through the world’s human population. The latest scientific reports warn that without action by the government and individuals to slow the spread of the virus and suppress the number of new cases, hundreds of thousands, even over a million people in the United States could die.
Although we are on an isolated island we are not exempt from the havoc this disease is wreaking world-
wide. The opposite is true. The CDC’s guidelines for ranking a community’s risk, put us in a category of high risk because of the island’s aging population and the fact that there is a continuous flow to the island of people from all over the country, some of whom have certainly been exposed to this highly-contagious virus.
Because of this, a concerted community effort of preventive measures is required to keep us, our families, and our friends, as safe as possible. Social, business, and civic life needs to be dramatically curtailed. This will require patience and sacrifice by all of us.
Already Lee County beaches have been closed and local clubs and some business are responding in an appropriate fashion. But many are not. It is time now that everyone joins the battle.
Here is a reminder of specific recommendations that should be followed to lessen the impact of Corona on our
• Stay at home whenever possible!
• Avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people.
• Do not eat or drink at bars and restaurants. Use pickup or delivery options.
• To control the desire for people to be in public spaces, public spaces should be closed down.
• Avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips, recreational activities, and social visits.
• Do not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.
• Discourage family members and friends from coming to the Island.
• Practice good hygiene: Wash your hands frequently, especially after touching frequently-used surfaces.
• Avoid touching your face.
• Sneeze or cough into a tissue, or the inside of your elbow.
• Disinfect frequently used items and surfaces.
The Coronavirus is merciless. It travels through the young to attack the old: through the healthy to assault the chronically ill. Therefore, the youth who are on the Island should also practice strict social distancing as a means to protect the Island’s older population.
Our country has a long history of making sacrifices in times of wars, disasters, and pestilence. To quote New York physician Dr. Cornelia Griggs, “We are living in a global public health crisis moving at a speed and scale never witnessed by living generations.”
We must not panic; we must mobilize and respond with same commitment and compassion U.S citizens have in the past.
It is time to put community above self.
Dr. Daly Walker is the chairman of the Boca Grande Health Clinic Board of Directors.