This week, Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced the first phase of the “Show Me Strong Recovery” plan outlining how Missouri will gradually (emphasis added) begin to reopen economic and social activity on Monday, May 4, 2020. As he spoke, protestors in the state capitol screamed objections. Although I was listening to the broadcast, I couldn’t make out exactly what they were saying. Based on reactions on social media, I have concluded that they could have been blaming him for being too slow to close the state, being too fast to close it, reopening too soon, failing to open immediately, caving to liberal interests, caving to conservative interests, caring too much about money or not caring enough about money. I truly believe the governor is trying his best to help the people of our state find their way through a remarkably complex and unprecedented situation where the collective wants and needs are all over the map (literally).
So where does that leave us? As we all work to apply the guidelines and suggestions of what Governor Parson called a “gradual reopening,” I find another of his statements to be especially instructive. “Think of this more as turning a dial than flipping a switch.” Public health remains our top priority, and all the other actions must keep that top priority in mind. As a community of neighbors who want the best for each other and for ourselves, we need to proceed carefully toward a new normal. Everything that “reopens” is to do so while maintaining social distancing and other existing means of prevention. Individual businesses and citizens are being asked to make choices as the state gradually reopens. I encourage you to continue to take the appropriate precautions in the spirit of public health. I believe that we, together, have slowed the spread of COVID-19 and likely have saved lives.
I want to close this week, by reiterating a message from last week’s article. We must continue to stay focused on the facts (over the fears). At Mosaic Medical Center – Maryville, we have employed all the proper precautions to safely and efficiently care for our patients, and we encourage you to seek proper care in a timely manner. Delaying care unnecessarily can result in more invasive and expensive interventions later. Please call your doctor with any health concerns. For patients who would like to see their provider but are concerned about coming into the clinic or hospital, we have made video visits available. It’s an important alternative for individuals needing care.
Please continue to take care of yourself and others. Together we will defeat COVID-19.