EMS encourages Craig residents not to relax against COVID-19 just yet

With the help of the EMS team in Craig County, along with local citizens working diligently, the coronavirus has thus far resulted in three positive cases. However, one person who tested positive, explained what it was like trying to breathe. “Imagine someone has hooked a belt around your chest and lungs and every day they tighten it one more notch. Regardless of what you do, you can’t get your breath. You feel like you’re suffocating,” said the person.

Pam Dudding
Contributing writer

It is so easy to get tired, frustrated or just sick of hearing about the coronavirus. Still, this virus needs to have a certain respect in the severity of its side effects. People are encouraged to use all precautions for just a little while longer.

Some of the Craig County businesses and citizens are getting a little ‘lax’ in wearing masks or gloves, using hand sanitizer or even using social distancing.

Craig County’s Emergency Management and Services Coordinator Jim Cady’s heartfelt desire is for Craig to remain COVID-19 free during this continued time of the pandemic.

He and Darryl Humphreys have worked six straight weeks, including weekends, doing everything possible to kill the coronavirus germs in Craig County and keep citizens abreast of the situations and positive cases.

Each finally took last weekend off and are trying for another. However, they still have to answer citizen’s requests for information and VDH/Craig Health Center notifications of possible exposures, and those requests haven’t stopped every weekend.

Cady and the EMS team fear that the stores and citizens are now falling behind the region on standards of protection at meeting VDH/ CDC recommendations.

“In my opinion, we are getting complacent and dropping our guard in this fight. It’s not over,” Cady said. “Everyone is tired of it and beginning to ignore mask, gloves and distance recommendations. Many stores and restaurants have returned to normal procedures.”

They are afraid this will lead to an increase of spread, which is what the Governor and other health care workers are warning people of.

Cady shared that he understands everyone’s concern to return to work and “normal life,” yet still asks the question, “Is asking for social distancing, masks and gloves or hand cleaner too much to ask of anyone who is returning to work or going throughout their normal life?”

The concern is not just for those who are healthy and feel they are of no danger, but could also be carriers, but for those who are not.

Would it be good for everyone to ask themself this question, “Do you care about yourself, family, neighbors and friends?” If so, Cady shares these tips for businesses.

  • If you serve food, require your help to wear masks and gloves when you prepare it! And wrap it. Use hand cleaner or change the gloves regularly.
  • Clean coffee pot handles, fast drink facets and cup holders regularly.
  • Wear masks, gloves and use hand-cleaner when you package any take-outs. Just because the customer can’t see you prepare the food is no reason to ignore these proper hygiene methods.
  • The take-out person (money collector) is at risk of contamination from the customers. Store owners should require masks, gloves, isolation and hand cleaner. Remember, money and credit cards are dirty.

The recovery rate within the United States for young people has been good.

For those whose immune systems are compromised, there have been videos, Facebook posts and family messages of the coronavirus creating weeks of terrible suffering, and for some, even death.

Cady’s most recent request was made on his Facebook as he shared to everyone, “All, this virus is out of control in our part of the state. Why? Because most citizens care, but are not following guidelines. I am going to make some of you mad, but sometimes hard love must be spoken.”

He further explained that if one is not wearing masks and gloves or using hand cleaner often, than they are indirectly, “asking for the virus.”

He added, “Let’s say you’re buying food from a restaurant or convenience store that makes your food or serves it while not wearing masks. If they’re leaning over your pizza, sandwich or biscuit breathing right down on it covering it with any germs they may have, you’re exposing yourself. If you’re not keeping adequate distance between yourself and others, you’re making yourself a victim.”

A very important warning Cady noted is, if anyone has been told to isolate themselves or has been in contact with someone who has been told to isolate, and that person chooses to go out with or without a mask, “you are spreading the virus.”

One citizen shared, “This kind of irresponsibility is not Craig County comm-UNITY caring.”

“Many people are now saying they don’t know how they got this. Yet, these are some of the common ways,” he stressed. “We cannot win this with these kinds of actions.”

Cady’s responses parallel with the Governor’s and many health care worker’s requests for all communities to remain attentive to using precautions for a few more weeks.

One resident commented through social media, “I’d rather stay at home and have to wear a mask and gloves now, then have to attend your funeral later.”

Said one local nurse, “If you keep it ‘at bay’ in your home and communities, we can keep it ‘at bay’ in the hospitals. Let’s all work together.”

“I love Craig County people and want to do my best to protect them,” Cady exclaimed. “They don’t need a cheerleader right now; they need some tough love.”

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