Eagle: Please wear your masks and practice social distancing
Each day during the week, I check with the Oregon Health Authority and look at postings in the section labeled "Demographics, Hospital Capacity and testing."
They show a county-by-county listing of COVID-19 positive tests.
People in my family have always wanted to be good neighbors and responsible citizens. I, and others in the St. Helens Kiwanis Club, assisted with the July 4th bell-ringing celebration. Some of our members helped judge cars, others played and sang with the Ukulele Orchestra. All made an attempt to wear masks, and in many cases, gloves. Even the Ukulele Orchestra made a decided attempt to maintain social distancing from their fellow musicians.
I would like to think that the celebration was a success and the people that participated enjoyed themselves.
One thing that did bother me were the people leading the celebration. None of the featured speakers, or for that matter, anyone else on the courthouse steps, wore masks. The people on the steps included our St. Helens mayor, a member of Toastmasters and a number of American Legion members. These people were clustered together, all the while being unmasked.
On July 1, there were, from the inception of the virus, only 30 people in Columbia County who had tested positive from COVID-19. On July 4th, the number rose to 31. This changed after the weekend. On July 6, the number jumped from 31 to 42. As of Friday, July 17, the Oregon Health Authority showed 61 citizens of Columbia County testing positive.
It is obvious that we are seeing more person-to-person contact and that the virus is not contained but is spreading.
Some masks may be better than others, but not wearing a mask means that you are totally unprotected. If you care about your own health and the health of others around you, you should make an effort to maintain a social distance and wear a protective mask. If everyone cared enough to do this, there would be a decrease in new COVID-19 cases.
Please make an attempt to be a good neighbor and a responsible citizen. Your life and the lives of others may depend on it.
— Bill Eagle, St. Helens
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