City, county officials need to be proactive against COVID

Published 9:00 am Friday, July 30, 2021

COVID-19 cases are again on the rise in our community. On July 15, Boyle County moved back into the “accelerated “ spread category shown in orange on state maps. Today, I write for a group of concerned local citizens who do not want a third winter of disruption from this miserable virus.

We have prayed for all who suffer the effects of COVID, tracked its progress, made masks during the PPE shortage, donated food and money and taken steps to protect ourselves and our families. We have been deeply saddened by news that  at least 78 local residents have died as a result of contracting this terrible virus.

We have all seen how COVID-19 impacts so many more than just the victims. We had hoped to return to normal — children back in school, medical community relieved of strain and overwork, and regular commerce restored — but normalcy will be short-lived without renewed effort to address a potential onslaught.

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Free and convenient vaccination currently offers the clearest path for our renewed safety and prosperity. We call on all local residents, and especially on elected leaders of our community, to help reinforce that message.

We also need plans for quick, sound responses to the threat of variants and the inevitable increase in infection as the weather cools and people head indoors.

A report from the state auditor shows that Boyle County and its municipal governments, received a combined total of more than $3 million dollars in COVID Relief Funds. We expect more from that extra funding, to say nothing of our own tax dollars, than allocations for payroll and one web site with no COVID updates since November 2020.

Our group recently sent our elected leaders 10 suggestions for mobilization and information-sharing. These ranged from an official resolution to sharing operational plans for government agencies that may have staff members out sick. None of the suggestions call for mandates. All ask for efforts to inform, encourage, and prepare.

Using these ideas or others, our community needs leadership from our fiscal court and city commission to protect us all and keep our community moving forward. Please contact your magistrate and/or commissioner and ask them to be proactive in their response to COVID variants and vaccine misinformation.

Julie Pease