To wear or not to wear
SO NOW WE’RE hearing that it might be a good idea for all of us to wear masks–even makeshift, homemade ones–in public. Another way to flatten the curve.
Dr. Kevin Piggott, the medical director of the Marquette County Health Department, gives the recommendation a qualified endorsement.
“As I’ve said before, the masks might help protect others but they won’t really give you any protection,” he says. “The masks trap your own droplets and keep them from spreading to others. I do have one other concern, though. If you do wear a mask, there’s a good chance you’ll be touching your face more. That’s not a good thing.”
He further recommends that if you do wear a mask, make certain that you clean it thoroughly and regularly.
A couple other points he makes: As of late last week, all tests for COVID-19 were still being done in the state lab downstate or in commercial labs out of state. Not here in the UP. Swabs are taken here, but then they’re sent away. That, of course, means the turnaround time for results is longer–3,4,5 days.
Dr. Piggott did say, however, that there is a plan to get testing labs set up here in the UP. He wasn’t sure whether it had happened yet at UPHS. A request sent to UPHS on Friday for more information on a possible lab here yielded a response stating that they’re looking into it, and they’ll get back to us.
The latest statistics: More than 14,000 COVID cases in Michigan, more than 500 deaths. In the UP, 28 cases and 3 deaths.
More appearances by the CEO?
CRAZY IDEA THAT’S not so crazy.
How about weekly press conferences from UPHS CEO Gar Atchison and his chief medical officers?
Atchison, himself, did a nice, taped presentation last week. Let’s see him and his people more frequently.
Fifteen minutes of the latest information from the hospital–how many cases, how many patients in isolation, how many empty beds, any change in procedures, how the staff is doing, how the inventory of PPE looks, what the plans are for the next week, how the rest of us can help, etc.
Statements chockful of the latest information, and questions taken from reporters (socially distanced, of course).
An informed community is a less anxious community. Boffo ratings for the TV stations. Good PR for the hospital.
Forging a bond with medical workers
THE PERFECT SYMBOL for our community in a time of crisis.
Tommy Lankenen, the guy who’s given us the incomparable Lakenenland, has created this huge metal structure now on display at the hospital. A heart, symbolizing our love and admiration for our medical workers who are on the front lines of this battle against COVID-19.
Look around town. Hearts everywhere.
A Front Street home expressing support for our medical workers.
For those of us who aren’t medical care providers and aren’t performing other essential work, there’s still work to be done–creating face masks for doctors, nurses, medical techs, EMT’s and cops….and designing and displaying hearts.
Not a bad way to get our kids involved, either.
THANKFULLY, THE GREAT toilet paper panic of 2020 seems to have subsided.
As has the run on most other items at our supermarkets. However, sanitizers and hand wipes are still in short supply at Econo, according to store manager Zach Quinnell.
He’s got nothing but praise for his employees who’ve been working long hours in stores occasionally packed with shoppers (most keeping their distance, some wearing masks.)
“A few employees who are at risk or are taking care of elderly parents have asked for time off to self-quarantine,” Quinnell says. “And we’re giving them time off, so in the meantime we’ve hired some new employees.”
One word: Clean!
SAME SITUATION AT Super One.
A few employees requesting and needing time off, and management honoring their requests. They’ll get their jobs back when the crisis has passed.
Meantime, store manager Mike Lavigne says they’re doing everything to keep spirits up for employees who are performing essential duties for the rest of us, while making themselves more vulnerable to COVID-19.
“We clean, clean, clean, all the time every day,” Lavigne says. “Our priority is keeping things sanitary.”
A lonely studio
SUNNY 101.9 HASN’T missed a beat during the coronavirus crisis.
Same programming, but with a different set-up.
Walt Lindala and Mark Evans are the only personalities broadcasting their shows from the studio, while the others are doing their shows from their homes. Lindala says he and Evans are working in studio (socially distanced) only because they conduct a lot more interviews in their morning show, and technically it would be nearly impossible if they were to stay at home.
The studio is all but deserted–just Walt and Mark, and two other employees who come in at different times.
“Mark has joked that with all the disinfectant we’re breathing,” Lindala says, “he’s afraid he may go sterile.”
No surprise, the dominant topic of discussion (sometimes the only one) is the coronavirus, but Lindala says they’re doing their best to lighten things up from time to time with stories about their home life and their families.
We could all use a little levity at a time like this.