You’ve heard it repeatedly: Wear a mask, maintain social distance, wash hands and avoid large gatherings. But as evidenced by our ever-growing case numbers, COVID-19 fatigue has set in across Greater Cincinnati. The situation is dire. We’re seeing our largest ever hospitalization rates, and they are doubling about every two weeks. Yet, many in our community have become numb to the numbers.
This is the reality, as our public health officials have confirmed, and we are concerned it will continue to be a significant issue as we plan for the holidays. It’s important to note that this region’s hospitals have reached a critical juncture in our collective response to COVID-19. Many of our hospitals are on the verge of not being able to accept more patients, which affects those who have COVID as well as those who need other care. That could include you or members of your family.
As we see cases rising, breaking previous records for the most cases in a single day, we also must think about the toll on our healthcare workers. Without exception, our frontline providers have been in the fight every day since COVID-19 came to our community in March. This situation is not sustainable. We need to act now to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community, which can save countless lives.
So, it’s time to rethink Thanksgiving:
- If you host a gathering, make it smaller than usual – with your immediate household only. Encourage loved ones outside your home to do the same.
- Gather outside if the weather permits. But space out chairs and don’t huddle together when talking. If you’re thinking about a group gathering in a garage, recognize that leaving the door open won’t ensure it’s a safe space.
- Wear a mask when you are out – or near anyone who doesn’t live in the same household. Over 85% of COVID-19 cases can be prevented by masking and maintaining a distance.
- Instead of sharing germs, share recipes. Use video chat or speakerphone to safely connect with friends and loved ones as you prepare a meal and sit down to eat.
Show support and solidarity in this battle by following the basic COVID-19 mitigation measures that keep us all safe.
Think of your family, neighbors, friends and our healthcare workers. And please join us by making a commitment today to rethink Thanksgiving.
Keith Bricking MD, MBA, FAAEM
Atrium Medical Center
Interim President & CEO
The Christ Hospital Health Network
President & CEO
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Clinton Memorial Hospital
Jose A. Cancelas, MD, PhD
Director & CEO
Hoxworth Blood Center
Paul Crosby, MD
President and COO
Lindner Center of HOPE
CEO and President
Margaret Mary Health
Mercy Health – Cincinnati
Mark C. Clement
President & CEO
Richard P. Lofgren, MD, MPH, FACP
President and CEO