On the edge of common sense
The title of the letter is from that used by my favorite columnist, Dr. Baxter Black, who has the ability to communicate with facts, common sense and humor. I do not claim to be able to do that, but do credit Dr. Black who I so much enjoy reading. Now to the point of this diatribe.
I have often been critical of DelDOT and whoever designs and redesigns our roadways, but I must give credit where credit is due. I live in a development off Route 24 about two miles west of Route 1. The construction that has widened 24 has, in my view, been a real improvement even with the work not completed and active work in progress. Curiously, I have watched as utility infrastructure was implemented only to be amazed when whoever owns the utility poles along 24 did not put the wires underground, but rather put in new poles. With so much emphasis on the advantages of underground power lines, I am sure there is a reason for not putting the wires underground?
On this same stretch of road, as you reach the Mulberry Knoll road intersection with 24, the traffic going east to turn left on Mulberry Knoll Road and the traffic turning left (and even right) off Mulberry Knoll onto 24 is “beyond a dangerous nightmare.” Even with traffic lined up back to the new police barracks on Mulberry Knoll, there is not a traffic light installed in advance of the final improvements in that intersection. I guess someone is waiting for a real bad accident or an emergency for state police to get on the road.
I was heartened to read that Beebe is initiating/improving/expanding a department of Population Medicine. This venture is an endeavor that is much, much needed! As a veterinarian who spent a career working on disease control in large populations of susceptible animals, this movement of Beebe on Population Medicine is a positive event for all of us and very critical. This experience with COVID will not be the last of these types of episodes, and dealing with all the ramifications of a highly contagious viral disease in a large susceptible population is a great deal different than dealing with disease in an individual. I was made “dumb” more than once in this type of situation working through diagnostics, surveillance, vaccine reaction and protection, but truly did learn from each experience to the benefit of how I interacted on the next one. Life is a good teacher if we will listen.
After 18 months of all this COVID, I too am tired, but certainly not as tired as those people who have worked in the hospitals, clinics and diagnostic facilities. However, if I had one wish it would be for folks to just calm down as time has shown no one has the answer to make this situation just disappear, because it won’t go away.
It’s here, and it’s past time to recognize and deal with that fact. Biosecurity in my world as a poultry veterinarian was beyond difficult and while it did some good, it had its drawbacks, many of which were significant. Face masks are a form of biosecurity and have those same weaknesses and strengths. Vaccines are a cure in the bottle (actually a vial, but you get the gist), and to say that this vaccine works is a gross understatement and does so with relatively few repercussions.
Folks, if wearing a face mask inside schools and getting the vaccine will get our kids back in school, keep them there and get our economy moving, we have a bargain! The face masks will eventually go away as we move more toward a less-susceptible population. More clarity to these benefits would be seen if better details of population diagnostics and surveillance data were presented to the public. This is what population medicine is all about.
Even with all the lives lost, the turmoil and dollar loss, we truly have a great deal for which to be thankful. If you don’t believe that, look around!
There are, unfortunately, some folks through no fault of their own (immunocompromised, other disease morbidity) who cannot move about as they wish, and we need to respect those situations. It is time, however, to get our kids back in school, keep them there and move forward as a society.
I will close with an appreciative commendation to the Cape Henlopen School District for what it did last year with our kids/schools and the direction on which it is moving for this year.
With full disclosure, I admit I have one grandchild (four have graduated) left in the Cape District and while he is smarter than his grandfather, he needs to be in the classroom and in the building.