Bedford County Mayor Chad Graham says that for the past few weeks, COVID cases have been on the rise, both nationally and in Bedford County. We have lost two dozen people to this disease, and many more have been seriously ill, taxing the health care system and creating financial and emotional hardships for a number of families.
Graham added that to get this pandemic under control, we have to renew efforts to protect each other, through social distancing, sanitation, hygiene and masks.
Cloth masks are not a cure-all. They are not equal to the N-95 masks worn by health care professionals. But state and federal officials – doctors, not politicians—say they are a key part of preventing the spread of the disease. When you exhale, you spray tiny droplets of water that could contain the COVID-19 virus and carry it to others. A cloth mask helps reduce the spread of those droplets.
You could be carrying the virus right now, without symptoms. Masks keep you from passing on the virus to the people you know, and the people you love. To a lesser extent, masks may also help protect the people wearing them.
Graham said his hope as mayor is that we will all take steps to undo this latest spike in COVID cases. It’s the right thing to do. This is not about politics, or control, or authority. It is about protecting the lives of the people we hold dear.
He said he’s confident that the people of Bedford County can do the right thing because it is the right thing. But if the active case count continues to rise, he will be forced to do something I truly do not want to do. If our number of active cases continues to rise as it has been doing, he will be forced to consider a mask mandate. That is not the approach I want to take, and if everyone pulls together, it is not an approach he will have to take.
Please, be diligent about handwashing, about social distancing, about avoiding large gatherings, and about masks. Graham said we are adults, privileged to live in the greatest country on Earth. It is our responsibility to behave in a manner that protects those around us.