COVID-19 is increasing around us and won’t stop

Cases of COVD-19 continue to increase, even here in Floyd County. Will it get worse? Probably. Stopping it depends on you.
Anger over masks, social distancing.

Floyd County’s COVID-19 cases rose by 28 cases in the week that ended Saturday and now has a total of 153. Montgomery County, home of Virginia Tech, also went up 28 Saturday and now has 477, while Radford and its university added 50 more with a total of 384.

The Virginia Department of Health won’t say what causes Floyd’s increase.

Virginia has 119,747 cases. Hospitalizations during this pandemic have totaled 9,555 and 2,569 have died. The United States has 6,140,096 cases and 186,874 dead. Worldwide, cases have topped 25 million with 847,630 deaths.

Virginia Tech and Radford University have traced many of their increased cases to parties at fraternities and sororities. Radford suspended one frat, along with 8 students. Tech and Roanoke College have suspended several of their students for hosting parties.

While Floyd County’s numbers aren’t as high as more populated areas like Blacksburg, Radford and Salem, the totals from this week alone are higher than all the cases the county had in late April, two full months after the pandemic was declared.

As April began, Floyd and Bath counties shared a distinction of having no cases. Bath now has 4 with no hospitalizations or deaths while Floyd has 153 cases with four hospitalizations and 2 deaths.

With more than 1,000 people dying a day in the United States, COVID-19 is not going away and our altered lifestyles of masks, social distancing and frequent cleanings and hand washing must continue.

At least it should. We still see far too many people out in public not wearing masks. Recently, a man I didn’t know threatened to “rip off that sissy mask” while claiming the virus is “fake news.” Two of his companions pulled him away with one apologizing and saying “this whole thing has all of us on edge.”

On edge may be “mild.” Fights have broken out in the Walmart parking lot in Christiansburg by those who did not want to follow the rule to wear masks to enter the store.

I’ve watched angry people give stores “the finger” at a sign that says they must wear a mask to enter the store.

As bad as things see right now, America’s director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, says it will be worse before it gets better, and he blamed the lax attitudes toward protections like masks and social distancing.

He issued that warning back in March. It did get worse. Until people start paying attention to the dangers, it will continue to get worse. Radford is one of America ‘s “hotspots” of sharp increases of COVID-19.

It won’t be the only one in the Old Dominion.

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