Amid a nationwide surge in coronavirus cases, La Paz County has reached its 1000th case, the equivalent of around 1 in 20 people countywide since the pandemic began. Additionally, the county announced its 21st death due to complications of the virus.
It can be hard for average people to figure out how to think of the pandemic. On one hand, the news is as grim as ever: cases peaking, ICUs filled, frightening stories. On the other hand, vaccine news and lower mortality rates, and the promise of an end to the danger. For those hit by it, the virus inspires fear and anger at those not taking it seriously.
“It’s not much to ask to wear a mask,” said Diana Grazier, the La Paz County Health Department’s Director of Nursing. “We are still seeing cases from those who are attending get-togethers, parties, and events, or not keeping away from non-household relatives or work colleagues when they know they have been exposed or are exhibiting mild symptoms, hoping they won’t transmit it. With the vaccine just around the corner it would be sad to give it to someone who ultimately won’t survive.”
Each day, the Health Department’s numbers show a much-elevated rate of infection than before within the county, from an average of perhaps a few new cases per day to above 20 at a time.
The Colorado River Indian Tribes reservation continues to be among the hardest-hit, but elsewhere in the county the picture isn’t pretty either. Families of Health Department employees have been hit twice in a matter of months, according to Public Information Officer Jenna McDaniel.
“In our small staff of ten in the Health Department, one has sadly lost a spouse and the other a grandmother,” she said. “This virus is real! This has been so devastating for so many people around the world and my heart truly goes out to everyone. I would have to continue recommending to take all of the necessary precautions we have been requesting for several months.”
“Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. void close contact with people who are sick. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue. Consider wearing cloth face coverings, if it can be safely managed, in public settings where other physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. If you are at higher risk for severe illness, you should avoid attending congregate settings. People at higher risk for severe illness include adults 65 or older and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions.”
COVID-19 will continue to shape global life for the next several months. In the United Kingdom, a vaccine made by Pfizer is already being distributed, with authorization by the United States expected to come shortly. Those most at-risk and health care workers will get it first, followed by a rollout across the population.
The La Paz County Health Department urged people to set politics aside when it comes to health and vaccine decisions.
“Please make an informed decision on getting the vaccination when it becomes available. Think of your health, family, friends and neighbors’ health and not any political viewpoint.”
See an up-to-date coronavirus timeline for La Paz County HERE.