When the Coronavirus hits home

The pandemic has killed more than 150,000 people in the United States, more than 4,100 in Virginia and more than 683,798 worldwide.

We live in a vacuum from the COVID-19 Coronavirus in Floyd County. With 32 infections, two hospitalizations and 1 death, the horror that looms nearby is not a reality for many who have no contact with the killer disease.

Yet the pandemic can come home quickly. Friends of ours in the county now have a grown son out on the West Coast with the virus. For their friends, the virus is now personal and much more of a threat.

For too many, however, the virus is something that happens to others, so they gather in close contract without any attempts to protect themselves and those around them from the killer disease that has killed more than 150,000 Americans and continues to infect and threaten millions here and abroad.

Worldwide, the disease has infected 17.8 million and killed at least 683,798, reports WorldMeter at 7:30 a.m. EDT Saturday. In the United States, the virus has infected 4.7 million and killed 156,754 at the same moment.

Virginia Saturday passed 90,000 infections and will soon surpass 8,000 hospitalizations with 2,215 dead.

While Floyd County has just 32 cases, we are surrounded by localities that report many more: 307 in Carroll, 814 in Roanoke city, 430 in Roanoke County, 273 in Montgomery, 151 in Franklin and 108 in Patrick.

Floyd County has just one case on April 12, then a second by the end of the month, a third on May 1, then six by Memorial Day. June and July added 26 cases. The pattern shows an increasing rate that is not declining. More infections are coming. So are more deaths.

America’s economy is sinking with more than 30 million without jobs. Our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell by the largest margin in history in the second quarter that ended on June 30. Many of us struggle daily to pay the needed expenses to live.

Yet too many still claim the virus is some sort of hoax aimed at defeating America’s current corrupt president. Others say hospitals are hyping their reports to get more money. That “hoax” has killed at least 2,215 people in Virginia since March and infections in the Old Dominion’s total case count is 90,801. This is no hoax, no conspiracy, no “minor” problem that will “just disappear.”

The United States leads all other nations of the world in numbers of infections and deaths because political considerations overrode warnings from the nation’s health experts. We’re a divided, polarized nation, driven by selfish agendas that place personal gratification over the needs of its people.

Will it take the death of a loved one or a relative to wake people up? That is a drastic worry among those who try and seek a way to fight a virus that is out of control.

Our grown child lives and works in one of the nation’s hot spots. We worry, as all parents do, about the safety of her and her husband. We have friends where the virus has struck their children.

How many children and loved ones have to die before we start working together to get this threat under control?

(Updated with later numbers)

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