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As we move into more and more reopening activities and interactions, it’s a good idea to stop and reflect on some good news and some warnings. As you can see from the graph, the number of cases in the health district have fallen significantly. We are now almost three weeks out from the Memorial Day weekend and three weeks removed from the initiation of Phase 1. We still don’t seem to have a bounce in cases that one might expect from these recent opening events, and I take that as a very good sign. 

A few words of caution, though, are in order. We have yet to see what might come from the recent protests that resulted in a number of people out in close proximity to each other. We also seem to be suffering from what I call “COVID fatigue.” This term implies that there are many who are tired of doing the things that likely led to a downturn in the number of cases. The masking, the distancing, the worry, all the things that we wish were behind us. Believe me, our staff is certainly feeling the effects of this phenomenon as they have been slogging through the daily work that this pandemic brings to the health department. 

I would like to remind everyone that this was and continues to be a marathon, not a sprint. We need to catch our second wind, get back on the track and move forward. I hope that the trend noted in the graph continues, but we need to remind ourselves that those data are the results of what we were doing a couple of weeks ago. What the graph looks like a couple of weeks from now will be determined by what we do today. 

Thanks for all you do. 

Wade Kartchner, MD, MPH 
Health Director, Rappahannock/Rapidan Health District 


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