Seventeen obituaries appear in 12/23/20 week’s Carroll County News – Leader. That has set a record. I have never known in my 58 years of working at two different newspapers for that many to appear in one edition. Of course, I don’t know for sure how many are COVID -19 related, but I know of three. I’m sure there were several more.
Right now the virus is raging in Tennessee. There are now around 10,000 Tennesseans getting sick every day. More than 100 people are dying each day, according to what Gov. Bill Lee said in his address Sunday. As of Dec. 15, Tennessee had the second most COVID-19 cases in the last seven days per 100,000 people.
The vaccines have begun to be distributed and that is a good thing. Ten first responders received the Moderna vaccine Monday administered by the Carroll County Health Department in a drive through at the Office Complex.
Christmas is this week and Gov. Bill Lee is urging no get togethers among families.
Thanksgiving gatherings and extended time indoors have been the principal driver in spreading COVID-19 like wildfire. It only took a matter of days to see gatherings around Thanksgiving translate into a record level of sickness. Tennessee cannot sustain a similar surge after Christmas or New Year’s.
The governor asks that families don’t engage in indoor gatherings for the holidays that include anyone outside their households.
The governor has signed an order that will limit indoor public gatherings to 10 people. In coordination with the TSSAA, attendance at indoor sporting events is limited. The governor says it is gatherings that have caused this surge. Additionally, he is asking business owners to let employees work from home for the next 30 days. If work from home is not available, masks should be worn at work.
The governor noted that 70% of Tennesseans are under a mask requirement. He commended the local officials who have implemented mask requirements. Because of that, 80 percent of Tennesseans report they wear their masks most or all of the time and I thank them for doing this. Tennesseans have two weapons that they must use in the next 30 days: only gather with your household and wear a mask.
The State of Tennessee will continue to mobilize every effective resource in this war. COVID testing is available to everyone free of charge.
As the hospitals face this surge of sick Tennesseans, the governor has authorized the National Guard medics to work in hospitals and provide lifesaving care.
The governor urges each Tennessean to do your part, so the state can move to a new season of health and prosperity.