We’re tired of COVID-19, but we need to stay vigilant

Date: Nov 02 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Media Relations 

Statement from APHA Executive Director George C. Benjamin, MD

We are all very tired of this more than six-month-long pandemic that has totally upended our daily routines.

And the uncertainty around how long it will be before a safe and effective vaccine becomes widely available, and how long after that we will safely be able to continue some of our favorite activities, further adds to our stress.

Yet we can’t let our guard down. On Saturday alone, the country logged 99,321 reported new COVID-19 cases and 1,030 deaths – the greatest single day increases due to the COVID-19 pandemic so far. There are widespread warnings that these numbers will continue to grow amid new surges of infections.

We must continue to do what we can to prevent spread of the virus. Wearing masks, in particular, is a major, effective tool in helping to prevent transmission and helping to protect each other. States that have no mask requirements are seeing upticks of COVID-19, reinforcing the need for proper mandates.

As the U.S. nears record-breaking 100,000 new daily cases of the coronavirus and as the weather gets colder and more of us stay indoors, I remind you all to take proper precautions, maintain safe distancing, avoid crowds and wear masks. Despite our fatigue over this pandemic, we cannot relax our guard to ensure public health and safety.

We must be beholden to the facts and science that will lead us to overcoming this disease. Until we do, each of us must take the safety measures that we know work. Stay apart from each other at least six feet. Avoid large gatherings, particularly indoors. And please, wear that mask.

My esteemed colleague Dr. Anthony Fauci, respected director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said it so well last week when he accepted the APHA Presidential Citation during our 2020 APHA Annual Meeting and Expo.

Here in the United States, we are at a perilous crossroads in this pandemic, as we traverse the fall and winter seasons and the return of seasonal influenza, cooler weather that drives us inside, and upcoming holidays enticing us to gather with family and friends,” Fauci said. “Troubling surges in cases and hospitalizations have begun across much of the country.

We need you to dig deep, stay strong, and help us prevail,” Fauci said. “Know that with perseverance and all of us working together we will control, and ultimately end, this terrible pandemic.”

We can do it if we pull together and listen to the science. We are tired, but we all can make a difference.

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The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We are the only organization that combines a nearly 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Learn more at www.apha.org.