Testing 1, 2, 3, 303…1,003
By Lynette Sowell
My front porch
Texas population: 29,000,000
COVID-19 positive confirmed cases: 258,658
Active cases: 122,828
Recovered cases: 132,638
Coryell County population: 75,951
Positive: (401) 188
Copperas Cove population: 32,806 (35,000 as of Jan. 1 per council projection)
These numbers were as of noon, July 13. For months, it’s been a war of numbers. It’s not a game. While I’m aware that some think this virus and/or its seriousness is a “hoax,” all I can say is it’s a hoax until someone you care about is affected. It’s a roulette wheel of sorts, how badly someone will feel if they catch it.
For instance, a relative in New Mexico tested positive. She’s 27 and her boyfriend is a police officer. She caught it from him, and he got it on the job. She said her shoulders felt achy but she was otherwise asymptomatic.
On the other hand, a friend in Ohio tested positive, along with her daughter and husband. She said she’s had the flu before and this is worse than the flu. Her husband doesn’t have a fever anymore, so he’s considered “recovered” – but simply walking around the house exhausts him and he has been on oxygen. She longs to be able to get out of the house and feel well enough to do “normal” activities. It’s been weeks.
This virus crud is an unseen enemy. We know what kills it, we know some preventatives. But obviously, there are people “out there” who have it and don’t know it. During flu season, if someone’s feeling bad, they go to the doctor and get the flu test and see what it says.
But now, with this crud, someone might not be feeling so bad and go about their day, and yet have it and pass it on. With Central Texas allergies being a plague of many, someone could feel tired and nasally and have a cough, and it be good ole Central Texas allergies. But then again, maybe not.
School is coming soon and our districts are challenged with the task of keeping kids and teachers and staff as safe as possible.
Is there anything 100% safe? No. not even “staying home” is 100% safe.
We need to test people, especially those who work for larger employers in our county.
If you have 50 people in a room and none of them have the virus, they will not get each other sick. If the virus doesn’t exist in a particular setting, it will not creep in on its own. People move the virus. All it takes is one individual interacting with those 50 for a set amount of time and leaving enough residue to pass it along to someone else who inhales it or touches their face.
The state department of health services is overwhelmed and help from them isn’t coming anytime soon. So, let’s help ourselves. Our health is just as important as other counties with cases in the thousands.
Wouldn’t it be great if we had testing and test processing capabilities here locally? Wouldn’t it be great if we could see where we are with this mess? Family spread, community spread, however it gets passed along.
Well, we can have that testing. Last week I heard Dr. Jeff Bates at Coryell Health talk about the testing capabilities of the hospital in addition to the ability to process those test samples, locally, without depending on an overwhelmed laboratory with a delay in results. It is a win-win for us locally.
We need to keep healthy people moving along – carefully and safely – throughout our business of daily living, whether that be shopping, working, recreation. We need to find out who is sick –has the virus and doesn’t know it – and keep them home until they are better.
It sounds simple and yet I realize it’s not. But why don’t we at least try?
I implore our county and city officials and leadership of local school districts and businesses to all come together and work together, to get staff and employees tested. Prior to work, prior to school. It’s not easy or swift proposition, but it’s not impossible. This bug isn’t going away anytime soon and until we know better what we are dealing with, sitting back and employing a reactive mode as far as testing goes won’t help us battle this unseen enemy.