My wife and I have only ventured out sparingly since the lockdown. But yesterday we went out to buy fresh vegetables at Yoke’s and a stop at a hardware store across the street from Yoke’s. We were astonished at the few numbers of people, mostly elders, who wore masks or protective gloves.
As well, on the street many people were congregating together. At the hardware store there was no mitigation strategy: no six-foot spacing tape, no plexiglass between cashier and customer, and none wore masks. At Yoke’s, most of the employees wore masks (at the deli two workers wore the mask below their noses) but most of the customers, including families with children, had no masks.
It seems our Spokane citizens feel complacency is the order of the day. As physicians, this concerns us for obvious reasons. As citizens we are personally concerned as we become at higher risk as our fellow Spokanites mistakenly misunderstand the concept of asymptomatic carrier and our decreasing new cases. This is no time to relax our vigilance. If … and probably will … we see a spike in cases again in late summer or fall, this will do more to set back our economy than what has already happened.
I would like to see Dr. Bob Lutz, the sheriff’s office, the mayor’s office and other county leaders be more publicly active in encouraging our citizens to not drop their guard and to maintain social distancing as well as prodigious use of masks and gloves. A good example would be Ohio’s Public Health Department’s Dr. Amy Acton and what they have achieved there.
Julian Gonzalez, MD, MPH