By Yesenia Ybarra
The spread of Coronavirus has increased rapidly in Pima County and throughout Arizona in the past several weeks, and this “second wave” is expected to bring even greater numbers of cases—even higher than the astronomical rates throughout last summer.
As of Dec. 7, there have been 46,000+ confirmed cases in Pima County, which has a population of 1.1 million; more than 730 people in the Tucson metropolitan area have died as a result.
In Maricopa County (including the Phoenix metropolitan area), the number of COVID-19 cases have surpassed 228,000 confirmed cases with more than 4,000 deaths.
Arizona’s Coronavirus cases are nearing 337,000, with nearly 7,000 deaths in the past nine months.
Health experts urged people to stay home during the Thanksgiving holiday and to keep gatherings at a “minimum”; many ignored those warnings, which explains the sudden surge in COVID-19 cases. With Christmas and New Year’s approaching quickly, the same warnings have been echoed—this time even louder.
In her recent first State of the City address, Tucson Mayor Regina Romero stated, “After consulting with public health experts and local hospitals, we have determined that additional steps are necessary to control the surge of COVID-19 case.”
Earlier this month, the Tucson City Council announced a curfew for the city of Tucson—urging residents to stay home between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. at least until Dec. 23.
It will be up to Arizona residents to heed this advice. It is everybody’s responsibility to take Coronavirus seriously.
Hospitals are at near-maximum capacity with COVID-19 patients, and during the flu season, which affects thousands of Arizonans every year during this time, hospitals need to have room for them. Also, there are thousands of residents in Arizona with serious health conditions, such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes, that need regular health care. If hospitals are maxed-out with COVID-19 patients, then those with other serious diseases will be in jeopardy.
Doctors are going to be determining which patients die and which patients live, a most disturbing decision. If we all take responsibility for our own safety, then we could minimize the future spread of COVID-19.
We’ve all been educated about how to stay safe in this era of COVID-19, but here are some reminders as we approach the holiday season:
(1) Wear masks at all times in public places; ensure these masks completely cover the nose and mouth;
(2) Keep at least six feet away from people;
(3) Wash hands for at least 20 seconds as often as possible;
(4) Keep gatherings at a minimum, and wear masks around people who do not live with you;
(5) Avoid touching the face.
It’s important that we all stay safe this holiday season. With promising vaccines in the horizon, our situation is not permanent.
Our upcoming holiday/winter break is a great time for people to become creative and to start projects that have been on your bucket list for a while. Maybe it’s time to clean out that cluttered closet or garage or to paint your bedroom a different color… Before the pandemic, people complained they didn’t have enough time to get everything done.
Maybe it’s time to get everything done.