Our view: We’re in crisis, it’s time to put community interest above self-interest to battle COVID-19

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The time has come for Springfield and the rest of Illinois to accept that the coronavirus is out of control and drastic measures are necessary to slow the spread.

We all want to get back to some normalcy but that can’t happen as long as there’s a threat of the virus jumping from person to person causing illness and death.

As frustrating as it is, regaining any semblance of comfort doing things that were not considered extraordinary pre-pandemic such as grocery shopping or enjoying a meal inside a restaurant, requires all of us to make sacrifices. Staying home except for necessities, wearing a mask, social distancing and washing hands frequently are the responsible things to do, if not for yourself, do it for your family, friends and community.

The escalating number of infections and death death ought to be motivating enough. Every day since Nov. 6, Illinois has reported record numbers of infection and the body counts continue to climb.

According to data compiled by The New York Times, COVID-19 cases in the Springfield region, which encompasses Sangamon and Menard counties, are growing at the 11th-fastest pace in the country.

The data suggest that the number of new cases in the region jumped by 487 per 100,000 people in a week.

Overall, as of Friday, 7,037 Sangamon County residents have tested positive for the virus, including 75 who have died. Add statewide statistics and the pandemic picture grows even more grim. There were 551,957 confirmed cases of the coronavirus since the onset of the pandemic in Illinois with 10,504 deaths.

How many more mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, neighbors and co-workers have to die before the prevention message resonates?

While it appears the White House has all but publicly disengaged from the battle even as the awful virus tears across the country, state and local officials must continue to step up, take control and lead us through this nightmare. At the same time, those naysayers who refuse to listen to science or acknowledge the virus’s toll should simply take a seat.

Gov. JB Pritzker lashed out Thursday at the resisters with good reason. We are in a crisis. Naysayers, stop with the noise. Get on board or get out of the way.

Thank goodness Springfield and Sangamon County leaders have seen the light and embraced measures intended to keep us safe and control the spread.

The economic hit caused by coronavirus restrictions cannot be ignored or understated. Small businesses, particularly restaurants and bars, have a right to fight for their survival. It is up to government leaders, including those in Washington, to extend a lifeline that will help struggling businesses stay afloat until the pandemic wanes.

But let’s not solely count on government. Individuals taking personal responsibility may be a more important and immediate way to help get the virus under control — and see local businesses return to health. All it requires is that we put community interest above self-interest. We’re Americans, we know how to do just that.

No matter where you fall in the arena of public opinion, the bottom line is until there’s a viable vaccine against the coronavirus scourge and everyone has ready access to it, the virus will not suddenly vanish. So, do your part. Limit travel, wear a mask, keep a distance, wash your hands.

It is public health advice we cannot afford to disregard. Our lives and way of life depend on it.

Region: Springfield,Feeds,Opinion,Region: Central,City: Springfield

via Opinion – The State Journal-Register https://ift.tt/2R6HXHD

November 14, 2020 at 01:22PM

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