You almost hesitate to write this out of fear people will read it, give their friends and family high-fives and plan a community cook-out to celebrate our collective successes.
But the COVID fairy on the other shoulder says there’s a benefit to encouragement of and emphasis on what Loudouners are doing well. We’re going with that fairy today.
Keep it up, Loudoun. We beg of you: Keep up the good work.
Loudouners by and large appear to be doing their best to combat this cruel coronavirus.
Masks, thank God, are on full display darn near everywhere we look, and while there’s always room for improvement, most people are keeping aware of their surroundings and not intruding on others’ six- to 10-feet bubble.
Understanding people are longing for a night out, restaurants have been shifting their spaces and working to ensure the greatest safety possible. (Staying home remains the safest bet, but we do understand and empathize with the need to get out once in a while.) Retail shops and other “public” places are limiting customers and taking strict sanitation precautions, and they all deserve a thunderous applause for doing so. Again, please keep it up.
The local COVID-19 numbers don’t lie. While roughly 30 new cases a day may not seem like good news, in nationwide — and even statewide — context, that number is encouraging. At the risk of sounding insensitive, the same can be said for 115 deaths since the pandemic began. (Please know we do send our most sincere condolences to those who have lost loved ones at the hands of COVID-19.) Percent positivity in local testing is perhaps the most encouraging information of all, with the most recent figure down under 6 percent. While some hotspots were battered by a spike in new cases and percent positivity last month, Loudoun’s testing rate gradually fell in July and into August.
But — of course there’s a but — there’s nothing more significant with regards to the virus than what Loudoun County Health Director Dr. David Goodfriend said in an interview with the Times-Mirror this week: “If people stopped taking the steps of mask-wearing and physical distancing, easily our numbers will go up again.”
Goodfriend continued, “ … it’s that continued focus that’s critical, because anytime you relax what you’re doing, the virus finds a way to get in.”
Indeed, we must stay vigilant, and that’s the purpose of writing this. Please, please, please, Loudouners. Do your part. As we’ve seen in areas across the country — some where president-pleasing governors were quick to scoff at science and callously “reopen” their economy — the virus will wreak havoc on communities that let their collective guard down.
Wear a mask. Keep your distance. Wash your hands. Stay home as much as possible — and as painful as it may seem. Cliché as it seems in so many cases, “we’re in this together” has never been more true.