There was much speculation the summer heat would cause rates of COVID-19 infections to subside, however despite the warm weather COVID-19 cases are actually soaring again.
This emergency is happening mostly in states that re-opened early and without meeting the CDC’s recommended guidelines, namely Florida, Texas, and Arizona to name a few. Their early re-opening coupled with spring break crowds desperate to socialize and party after months of quarantining has certainly exacerbated community spread.
Two months ago things felt apocalyptic. We lost so many lives in New York. There were 24 hour cycles where up to a thousand people died overnight, and this went on every night for weeks! The entire city was in mourning and it was hard to meet anyone who did not know someone who had contracted the virus and died. Mount Vernon also had around 3,000 cases which is extremely high for such a small city of four square miles.
Slowly the transmission rates have subsided here in Westchester. Mount Vernon has also experienced a drop in new infections and have actually begun testing people for antibodies. It is also reported The Westchester Rehabilitation Center, which is the nursing home where initially most of Mount Vernon’s COVID-19 cases were centralized, is finally COVID-19 free. Mount Vernon, along with Westchester County, is in Phase II of reopening and it is evident. A quick walk down Gramatan Avenue and you will see people out running errands, shopping and finally getting their haircut.
Still many states are seeing soaring rates. How can we in Mount Vernon keep rates down if other parts of the country are experiencing an uptick?
It has become too warm to comfortably wear our masks and gloves and staying indoors 24/7 is not an option in these summer months. We all have to re-imagine what our summer will be like. The BBQ’s and children playing on playgrounds are something we all miss but if we choose to attend any this summer our usual carefree nature should be re-evaluated.
Of course we all need a break but It’s important to not lose sight of the facts, COVID-19 has not been contained, and is currently spreading. We must continue being vigilant with our social distancing, mask wearing and hand washing. Don’t travel unless you must.