March 13, 2020
By Marcy Shortuse

BY MARCY SHORTUSE – We do NOT have a confirmed case of COVID-19 on Gasparilla Island.
According to officials, “The Boca Grande Fire Department responded to an EMS call this morning where the screening process required crews to deploy a higher level of personal protective equipment. This is a normal precaution that going forward may become more frequent. The patient was transported per protocol. If any further information is needed this group will be the first to know.”
There is no thought at this time other than that this patient has the flu. Which really stinks, because no one wants that either.
We promise, we will be the first to let you know if a confirmed case of COVID-19 is found on the island. No one is trying to hide any information, nor are we trying to make it sound worse than it is.
We have had cancellations of public events. The spaghetti dinner on Sunday is canceled/postponed. The pancake breakfasts at the Methodist Church have been canceled for the rest of the season (which in itself is enough to make all of us hate this stupid virus). The talk on senior living that was scheduled by Bill Munsell for next Tuesday has been postponed. Boca Bargains is closed through March 28.
There will be more cancellations as well, but they are not occurring because someone here has the virus. These cancellations are happening in an attempt to curb all of our chances for getting the virus. It’s common sense not to gather in large groups at this time.

We ask that everyone use their own common sense at this time and wipe down all surfaces in their home and workplace with bleach wipes and/or cleaning agents with an ethyl alcohol base of more than 60 percent. That includes your child’s backpack and school shoes, by the way, and anything else that comes home with them.

Don’t forget to sanitize your hands after going anywhere outside your home or a clean and secured work environment. Use hand sanitizer when no soap and water is available. Every time you touch money and credit/debit card keypads, gas pumps or the keypads on gas pumps … just wash up or use a shot of sanitizer.
It’s not just COVID-19 you don’t want to catch, it’s the flu as well, and this is the peak of flu season with people coming here for Spring Break. Just take care, and be smart.
And wash your sandwich makers.