Source: The KY Standard
This past week or so saw some promising signs of progress in our community’s fight against the novel coronavirus.
First Care, an urgent care and walk-in clinic with a local office, announced April 15 it had started offering curbside testing. Last Wednesday, the Baptist Health Hardin facility in Bardstown announced it had expanded its ability to test. That same day, the health provider was able to obtain a donation of personal protective equipment after Dustan McCoy was able to leverage his influence with some manufacturers. And Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said the state would start Monday with the first phase of its recovery by easing restrictions on diagnostic and radiology testing, as well as non-urgent, emergent, in-person and ambulatory visits.
The nation, our state and our community have been back on its heels the past six weeks or so, taking steps backward in an effort to slow the spread of a highly contagious and potentially lethal new virus. These recent events and announcements are small steps forward, but they are unquestionably signs of progress.
That progress is gradual, though. There are plenty of aspects of our “normal” lives that will not come back anytime soon. Our children will not return to their classrooms this school year. Seniors will not have a traditional graduation and will miss other significant milestones such as transition ceremonies to middle and high school as well as proms. We still don’t know when we will be able to gather around a restaurant table and enjoy the companionship of our friends. We don’t know when it will safe to congregate in our houses of worship.
There have seen other steps toward our pre-COVID normalcy that have been less welcome, including partisan divisions enflamed by those who think they would benefit from dividing us during a time when we need to all work together. Reporting in national publications revealed that much of the activity behind the recent anti-restriction protests are the work of individuals with established records of stoking division on other issues. Social media has also shown how callous people can be. One example is the hateful posts directed toward an Ohio man, who in early March had been dismissive of the threat posed by this virus, but later contracted it and died. His family had to cancel a live stream of his funeral because of the anger directed toward him online.
The recent progress in our community are a welcome sign that local individuals and institutions are working to get real results, even as our national “leaders” such as U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell urges states to declare bankruptcy and President Donald Trump publicly muses that injecting bleach or other household cleaners might help.
We are a long way from “normal,” and that normalcy will not look like our pre-COVID society for a long time, if ever. Testing is not yet widespread. Wednesday’s PPE donation will go a long way, but we don’t know how long it will last or whether, once it is exhausted, whether resupplies will be available.
But we should all take heart from these recent signs of progress. We all need to do our part, even if that role is to remain patient and do the best that we can while not endangering others.