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Let’s keep our eyes on the real enemy: COVID-19

May 5, 2020

Anyone lucky enough to see the ocean this past weekend may have noticed dolphins just offshore. Like people, the dolphins may have been lured by warm sun and calm seas. Their presence seemed to pose the obvious question. Where is everyone?

COVID-19 has closed Delaware beaches, with Rehoboth and Dewey beaches taking the extra step of prohibiting even dog walking and exercising.

Closing the beaches, subsequently restricting out-of-state visitors, and more recently requiring everyone to wear masks in confined spaces are steps ordered by the governor - and they appear to be working.

Delaware is flattening the curve, slowing the spread of COVID-19, especially in the Rehoboth-Dewey ZIP code, which state statistics show has among the lowest rates of infection in the state. But just a few miles away in Georgetown, the story is dramatically different. With phenomenal efforts from Delaware hospitals, in particular Beebe Healthcare, Bayhealth and ChristianaCare, so many people were tested last week that Delaware now ranks among the top 15 states nationwide in the rate of testing.  The downside is that more testing means more positive cases: Georgetown and Ellendale ZIP codes now have the highest rates of infection statewide. 

Despite those rising statistics, widespread testing allows people otherwise untreated –  and likely spreading the virus - to be isolated and cured, which is key to slowing further spread. 

Sussex is also seeing a spike in cases in nursing homes, where the virus is attacking our most vulnerable population. Nursing homes testing is critical for patients and staff, yet again, cases will rise. Sadly, so will deaths.

Amid these spikes, is this the moment to reopen? We are all ready for businesses to reopen, but if it happens too soon, before adequate testing is in place, the rate of infection will grow. Deaths will occur.

The enemy we face is not our state-of-emergency restrictions. Our enemy is a worldwide pandemic that continues to claim thousands of lives every day. Let’s stick together just a little longer so we can win this war. 

 

  • Editorials are considered by the editorial board and written by Dennis Forney, Publisher Emeritus, with occasional contributions from other board members: Trish Vernon, CoPublisher and Editor; Dave Frederick, Sports Editor Emeritus; Jen Ellingsworth, Associate Editor; Nick Roth, Sports Editor; and Chris Rausch, CoPublisher and General Manager.

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