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We all must get on the same page and do what we can to stop COVID-19

Sometimes it would be great to be proven wrong.
But, I also strongly suspect that those people who warned us from the start about the dangers of the coronavirus pandemic wouldn’t mind to have been wrong either.
There were the doctors and health officials who warned us of a second wave of infections that would hit the nation in the fall.
They weren’t wrong.
How about those people who have proclaimed for months that the virus would disappear after the election? How nice it would be if they had been right. But, they weren’t.
But it appears that the novel coronavirus might not have been some sort of worldwide conspiracy with the lone intent of influencing the American presidential election.
Unless the virus won’t disappear until everyone agrees that the election is actually over and we know the winner? In that case, we might hold out hope on the promising Pfizer vaccine. It will likely arrive sooner.
There remains pressure on national, state and local leaders to do everything that they can to slow down the spread enough to keep our health care system from reaching a breaking point. Issues such as mask mandates remain a political issue in our country.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee continues to plea for our state’s residents to do the right thing and wear masks and practice social distancing.
The numbers of those hospitalized keep climbing and the pleas of health care workers become easier and easier to find in media outlets and on social media.
Monday, the Tennessee Department of Health not only reported a record number of coronavirus cases in the state, but a record number of new cases for a single day in Northeast Tennessee — 494 cases. Also, the 14-day average of new cases per days is also at an all-time high.
Carter County had 54 new cases Monday, and as of that date reported 44 deaths since the pandemic began. Over the past seven days, the average percent positive rate for the county is 19.5 percent, which is higher than any county in our area.
Ballad Health is experiencing its highest number of COVID-19 inpatient cases since the pandemic began in March. Monday, there were 247 patients receiving treatment for coronavirus at Ballad hospitals.
We know there are strong doubters out there about the effectiveness of masks. Yet, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to stress using masks. Just last week, the CDC emphasized that wearing masks helps protect the wearer too by reducing the amount of infectious droplets inhaled.
But, this isn’t going to work unless we somehow get everyone on the same page in the Elizabethton and Northeast Tennessee community.
And with the annual family gatherings of Thanksiving nearing, it is going to mean tough choices for people. Is even a small gathering safe? And how small?
The CDC is urging Americans to stay home and avoid indoor get-togethers.
Also, with the holiday season here — many families will be shopping, there will be parties, ballgames, all kinds of activities.
We must get a handle on this pandemic. If we don’t there will be more cases, more hospitalizations, more deaths. No one wants that.
It’s not unpatriotic to wear a mask, to not have Thanksgiving dinner with your family, nor to attend church if you don’t feel safe.
It’s time we all get on the same page and do everything we can to stop the spread of COVID-19.
And with the annual family gathering time of Thanksgiving nearing, it is going to mean tough choices for people. Is even a small gathering safe? And how small? But this isn’t going to work unless we somehow get everyone on the same page in this county.
We know you’re tired of hearing it because we are tired of writing about it. But, we are not going to quit, not as long as COVID-19 is a threat to our workplace, our families, our friends, and neighbors.