Our View: State health officer's warning should be signal to re-double efforts




On Tuesday, Dr. Thomas Dobbs, the state's health officer told Jackson Free Press he is "anticipating an absolute disaster" in the fall, when a second surge of COVID-19 arrives. When asked what Mississippians should be preparing for in the fall, he said, "Prepare for not being able to get into the hospital if you have a car wreck, (to) have a heart attack and there not be a ventilator to put you on."


His comments came on the same day the state reported its single highest day of reported cases (611) and continued hospitalizations (523).


Those numbers strongly suggest many of us are not being diligent enough in protecting ourselves and our neighbors.



Dobbs attributed the recent increases to a cavalier attitude among citizens, especially younger citizens, who generally are asymptomatic and are less inclined to observe the precautions state and local leaders have stressed must be followed as restrictions are eased.


The best means of arresting the current increase in cases and meaningfully mitigating the dire predictions for the fall, are the personal choices we make.


By now, all of us know the precautions, which are fairly easy to take: Wash your hands frequently, stay at home as much as possible, practice social distancing and wear masks when in public.


Wearing masks significantly prevents transmission.


While younger, asymptomatic citizens are considered major offenders, the truth is likely that most of us are not as vigilant today as we were at the start.


Dobbs' dire predictions should serve as a reminder, then, that we must renew our commitment to following all the measures we know are effective safeguards. It's no time to be complacent. In fact, the need for following these precautions are as great as they ever were.


What has been true all along is still true today: It's really up to us how devastating the virus becomes.




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