If you thought it was OK to relax with the mask wearing and social distancing, think again.
Oregon Covid cases are increasing at the highest rate in the nation, 58% in the past two weeks. The next closest state is Alabama with a 37% increase.
When Alabama is kicking our butt on public health, that's reason to be worried.
Here's a chart of how badly Oregon has been doing recently.
Remember how freaked out everybody was in the spring of 2020 when Covid was a new thing to worry about? The 7-day average of cases in Oregon back then was 50-70 a day. Yesterday it was 740.
So however much you freaked out a year ago, freak out ten times as much now.
Unfortunately, too many Oregonians wrongly believe it is time to go back to normal, with few if any Covid restrictions. The all-Republican Marion County commissioners are part of that group, sadly.
I hope the commissioners take a long hard look at how Marion County is doing compared to other large counties.
These are the ten counties (out of 36) with the highest recent Covid infection rate per 100,000 population. Marion is doing the worst of any large county. Our 14 day change of +116% is double the state average of 58% -- which, again, is the worst in the nation.
So almost certainly Marion County is one of the dozen or so counties that Governor Brown warned could move back to an Extreme Covid risk category. Currently we're in the High risk group.
Here's excerpts from an Oregonian story about this, "Oregon governor to close indoor dining next Friday in some counties if COVID hospitalizations spike."
In her most serious and stark tone in weeks, Gov. Kate Brown said Friday that she will shut down indoor dining in bars and restaurants in Oregon’s hardest-hit counties as soon as the end of next week if COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to surge.
Brown said despite her best efforts to keep the economy open while holding back on virus-control measures, she will cancel a “warning week” buffer and immediately move what looks like a dozen counties into an “extreme risk” category by next Friday if the number of statewide hospitalized patients reaches 300.
That could possibly include Clackamas County if not others in the metro area. The move would shut down indoor dining, as well as limit large gyms and movie theaters to no more than six patrons and prohibit indoor visits at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
...Based on the most recent infection rates, the counties most likely to move into extreme risk as soon as next Friday are: Baker, Clackamas, Columbia, Crook, Deschutes, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Linn, Marion and Polk. That’s 11 counties, and Brown had mentioned “at least” 12 counties.
If indoor dining is shut down and movie theaters/gyms are limited to six patrons, we here in Marion County will have no one to blame but ourselves.
The bizarre thing is that conservatives like to rant about government overreach when it comes to Covid restrictions, but most of them aren't willing to wear a mask, socially distance, and do the other stuff that would allow Governor Brown to lift those restrictions.
It isn't that hard, folks.
Health care workers, including the staff in my dentist's office, wear a mask for most of their working day. Putting on a mask indoors for a shorter period, or outdoors if a crowd of people are close together, is no big deal.
Remember, the life you save could be your own. And even if you don't die from getting Covid, the risk of nasty long-term symptoms should be plenty of motivation for everybody, young and old alike.
Plus, it's the right thing to do. Wearing a mask and socially distancing protects us, and it also protects other people. Let's act as if we're all in this together.