Notes from the Mayor 03/19/20By MAYOR EDDIE FULTON,
We are considering declaring a Health-Care Emergency on Monday the 16th of March. The emergency is to qualify Quitman for various funding sources to mitigate the spread of the Corona Virus (COVID-19). Various articles in the public domain such as the Center for Disease Control, that give estimates of the potential extreme loss of life seem to conclude it is inevitable that many of us will get the disease with a potentially high loss of life. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Most of the knowledgeable Doctors, Scientists, and Researchers agree that we are past containment of the disease and now must do everything possible to mitigate it. Yes, the expected loss of life goes up with age with 15% of those over 80 or people with significant health issues, but the overall loss of life remains at 1% to 2%. The positive side for this disease, if one is to be found, is Corona Viruses have been around for years, and a basis to find a vaccine to eradicate COVID-19 has already been started. S.A.R.S. (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) or SAR-COV, MERS; (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) caused less than 2,000 deaths world-wide. Swine Flu deaths were a little over 12,000, but Influenza deaths in the United States hit 17,000 this year in the United States. COVID-19 could be worse than influenza, but probably not if we follow the mitigation actions below
1. Please get a flu, pneumonia, and shingles shot as soon as possible
2. Each of us must cover our face when sneezing or coughing. Droplets from either source are carriers of most diseases, especially COVID-19. Using your hand or elbow is insufficient, so a napkin or handkerchief covering your entire face is essential to control this virus.
3. You may think you need toilet paper, but more important to your health is to purchase disinfectant wipes. Wipe all phones, counter surfaces, steering wheel, and anything you need to touch daily. Wipe several times during the day. We will be doing so in City Hall.
4. COVID-19 loves cardboard, money, and stainless steel. The virus can remain for up to seven days on these surfaces. If you work putting up stock, handle money, or in a kitchen it is worth utilizing thin surgical gloves. I plan to furnish surgical gloves to our recycling people, sanitation people, and office personnel. Change gloves during the day, and then wash your hands thoroughly.
5. Do not touch your face before washing your hands. This is critical!
6. Drink as much water as you can as it aids the immune system. City water is fine as it is very safe and less expensive than bottled water.
7. Local Businesses depend on your purchases! If we don’t support them during this crisis, we could lose them causing a much worse problem for all of us. Eating at local restaurants whether you eat in or take out or shopping local is fine as all our “Ma & Pa” stores will be following the guidelines above.
8. Don’t litter anything plastic, paper, or cardboard.!! Someone must pick it up and if contaminated the virus is spread.
9. We will be working with our Grocery Stores, Banks, Pharmacies, Hospital, and Clinics to establish a path for senior citizens and others with health issues to meet their needs and a testing procedure for anyone showing the symptoms of COVID-19. I have received permission to use a remote parking lot in the event we face such a need.
Additional updates will be forthcoming as more information is available.