Dear Friends and Neighbors; 10-18-20


The haboob combed across our area last week, and as I gathered things in the yard that were not secured, I lost my mask that was hanging from my ear. The mask and words (X@!#) were carried away on the wind with the topsoil. More entertainment for the neighbors.

Incredibly fortunate am I to work with public health agencies in Southeast Colorado, state and federal public health agencies and responders of all sorts. It provides challenges, a constant learning environment and so much inspiration.

For weeks drive through flu vaccinations have been underway in our region. It is wonderful to see community members and hear their comments on how they are faring through COVID-19.

People wondered why cases are soaring? As businesses, schools, sports, and events open, cases increase. The only way to lessen the risk of infection, case load and hospitalizations is to wear a mask, avoid crowds, and conduct social distancing and follow guidance by your public health agency.

An elderly lady said, “we get through the flu ok, why are we carrying on with masks during COVID”? The flu kills about 40,000 people each year in the US, however there are vaccinations for the flu. In eight months, 216,000 people have died of COVID -19 in the US. There is no vaccine available yet; although it is in trials and will be introduced in coming months. Another person at a drive through flu clinic said, “this is all a hoax and will be over when the election is over”. The pandemic will not go away when the election is over. I will not lie to you. Pandemics are generally two-year events with many phases, developments, and varied response with each phase.

December and January may prove to be incredibly challenging months, depending on our individual respect for each other. Cases among all age groups are steadily increasing, hospitalizations have reached the highest point since May 31st, and the number of active outbreaks is at an all-time high. Unless cases stabilize and decrease in the next few weeks, we may be in a difficult position going into the holidays.

More health and medical personnel are exposed, or ill due to COVID-19 and unable to work until cleared. Battle fatigue is real, and health and medical people keep working (who can) on your behalf. 8-12 hours in personal protective equipment is not easy and essential workers are doing so with good cheer. Remember them when you are frustrated with wearing your mask for 30 minutes while you shop.

Holidays are approaching! How can you celebrate them with social distancing, mask wearing or virtual celebrations? At times holidays can also bring the blues. I am pulling for your family and mine as we maneuver the challenges that lie ahead.

Take care,

Kris Stokke
dba SE Region Generalist
South 10th Street
Lamar, CO

Filed Under: Letters to the Editor

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