“the more we come together in groups, the more COVID-19 spreads in the community.” – Dr. Chris Farnitano
By Allen Payton
In a rather ironic announcement Thursday, with reports of COVID-19 spreading rapidly in many Bay Area neighborhoods, members of the Association of Bay Area Health Officers (ABAHO) representing thirteen jurisdictions, urge residents to protect themselves and the community by celebrating Independence Day while remaining at home, under what amounts to house arrest, during the July 4th holiday weekend.
The Fourth of July, the day on which we as a nation celebrate the declaration of our independence from the tyrannical rule of England’s King George III, with his oppressive regulations and taxation, is traditionally a time to celebrate with firework shows, parades and cookouts. But this year the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many community leaders cancelling public events. Gatherings with others from outside your household, such as members of the extended family, are also considered potentially risky, according to the Association of Bay Area Health Officials (ABAHO).
Health officers from across the greater Bay Area say staying home this year is a healthy choice.
“Nobody wants to be cooped up, or to miss out on the holiday,” said Dr. Chris Farnitano, Contra Costa County Health Officer, a member of ABAHO. “But the more we come together in groups, the more COVID-19 spreads in the community. And the more it spreads, the more it endangers older adults and others at high risk of serious illness.”
So, instead of merely requiring those older adults and others at high risk to stay home, he wants all of us to.
“You can spread COVID-19 even if you don’t feel that sick,” the ABAHO explained in a their press release announcement. “You can pass the disease to someone else before you have symptoms, and even if you never develop any symptoms at all. When infected people come in contact with others who are high-risk, there can be deadly consequences.”
Those deadly consequences have so far amounted to 78 deaths out of 1,115,000 residents in Contra Costa County, or one death in every 14,300 people. Currently there are a total of 41 patients with the virus in our hospitals and not all of them are from our county. At the same time, some county residents who have tested positive are in hospitals in Alameda County. In addition, according to the Contra Costa Health Services Coronavirus Dashboard, as of today at 11:30 a.m. a total of 76,139 people have been tested in our county and 3,326 have contracted the virus. The good news is, to date, 2,311 who have tested positive in Contra Costa have recovered, which means there are currently 896 residents in our county who have the virus and should be staying home under self-quarantine.
Yet because of the risks they have outlined, Bay Area health officers recommend people who are not members of the same household remain physically distant. Unless you choose to follow the county’s guidelines for sexual activity, which can be found, here and recommend that “If you do have sex with others, have as few partners as possible.”
According to the ABAHO, the best ways to protect yourself and slow the spread of COVID-19 include:
- Continuing to stay home as much as possible
- Practicing physical distancing outside the home
- Wearing face coverings or masks when outside your home
- Avoiding gatherings with people outside your immediate household – (even though Contra Costa allows gathering in groups of 12 people, and as many as 100 if you’re attending an outdoor or indoor worship service or protest. So, be sure if you’re number 101 or more, to please leave and either worship or protest on your own.
- Washing your hands thoroughly and frequently
- Staying home from work, school or daycare if you feel sick
Bay Area residents who have symptoms are also encouraged to get tested for COVID-19, and to do so immediately. Check with your local health department for more information about testing and about efforts in your community to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, please visit cchealth.org/coronavirus.
ABOUT THE ABAHO
The Association of Bay Area Health Officials (ABAHO) represents health officers and other public health professionals from thirteen jurisdictions. ABAHO coordinates and communicates regional messages to save lives, promote and protect health, prevent injury and illness, and improve wellness in the region’s diverse communities. According to an article on CaliforniaHealthLine.org “The alliance, formally called the Association of Bay Area Health Officials, was born in 1985 in the early days of the AIDS epidemic.” That article, entitled “The Inside Story Of How The Bay Area Got Ahead Of The COVID-19 Crisis”, is dated April 21, 2020 a week after Contra Costa experienced it’s peak, so far, of 44 Coronavirus patients in county hospitals on April 14.
The members of the ABAHO and other government leaders have returned us to the days before 1776 with even more oppressive regulations than those of King George, III – who still allowed the colonists to freely worship, go to work, operate their businesses (unless they were seditious newspaper publishers), earn a living, and go about their daily lives – while instilling fear into the populace about the virus, as well as by releasing inmates from federal and state prisons, and county jails, and increasing the national debt in order to keep providing unemployment payments, grants and loans (with interest, further burdening business owners) to most, but not all those who qualify and have been approved, yet who are still waiting to receive even a penny from either the state or federal government, while at the same time allowing the homeless, protesters, looters, vandals, Antifa members, and CHOP and CHAZ residents to enjoy maximum freedom, in effect guaranteeing only to them the full exercise of the freedoms enumerated in the Bill of Rights, while restricting most of the rest of us from enjoying them.
Enjoy celebrating your freedom on Saturday!