On July 7, after what seemed like a steady return to normal from the COVID-19 pandemic, we suffered a turnaround. Floyd, which had not a new case for a month, had two new cases as cases across Virginia starting rising again.
On Thursday, the report from the Virginia Department of Health, reported over 1,700 new cases and Floyd added three new cases, bring its total to 27 more than July 7, almost a new case a day (including 9 new cases over the past weekend).
Floyd County ranks well below the Virginia average in vaccinations, which is why Amy and I continue to use masks when we are out. We’re fully vaccinated, but the odds say we are likely to encounter those who are not, in Food Lion or other places with people who don’t give a damn.
Please don’t waste our time with claims of a health condition. My wife has severe asthma and other underlying health problems, but still wears a mask without a problem. I have COPD, but we are back on masks and will keep them on until further notice.
As for those who cite their politics as a “reason” to avoid vaccinations and masks, I suggest you not do so around the family of Scott Apley, a Texas Republican Party leader who claimed vaccines were bogus and claimed masks weren’t needed. The 45-year-old Dickinson City Council member screamed on Facebook that “vaccines don’t work” just two days before he was rushed to Galveston hospital with a positive test for the virus.
Apley died Wednesday, leaving a family and young son. Apley’s stupidity helped kill him. He’s not alone. Others who follow his example face a similar death sentence.
Resurgence of the virus has put back-to-work in offices on hold for the federal government and private businesses. Plans to start phasing staffs back into offices are now on hold at the Pentagon, which began sending thousands of employees home.
At the Department of Veterans Affairs are now telling their teleworking staffs to delay plans to return this summer.
“VA remains in a maximum telework status, keeping employee safety at the forefront,” agency press secretary Terrence Hayes says in emails to the media.
VA’s law enforcement training center in Little Rock is shut down, after a coronavirus outbreak among unvaccinated students in July. U.S. Forest Service crews in Oregon were decimated by a virus outbreak.
Those seeking help from Social Security find the agency’s 1,500 field offices closed as cases keep piling up.
In the private sector, business that had planned to reopen offices for employees have put those plans on hold, including the New York Times, Apple, Twitter and The Washington Post.
In Floyd County, Citizens Coop, one of the county’s larger employers, is still closed to the public for walk-ins. Contract and service is handled through the drive-through, phone contact or email.
The pandemic is not over. The new surge and variants of the virus are driving up cases, hospitalizations and death. Medical experts say it will be worse.