‘Something deep changed this week.
The old world isn’t coming back.
Our choice now is to move forward with compassion, courage, and love for each other. It’s the only way it’s going to work.
Everything is on the table now. It’s time to build something new.’
-Eric Holthaus, reporter for The Correspondent
IDAHO MOUNTAIN EXPRESS
‘As of 4:39pm South Central Public Health District @SCPHD is reporting 19 cases of COVID-19 in Blaine County
St. Luke’s Wood River
“Considering the small size and unique population of our community, this spread has disproportionately impacted our caregivers in Wood River.”
An update on operations at Wood River Medical Center
At St. Luke’s Wood River, every decision we make is with the health and wellness of our patients, caregivers and communities at the center. As was shared yesterday, Blaine County has experienced significant community spread of COVID-19. Many are now required to self-quarantine due to contact with those who have tested positive. Considering the small size and unique population of our community, this spread has disproportionately impacted our caregivers in Wood River.
In support of a safe environment for our patients and caregivers, effective immediately we will be temporarily suspending normal operations at St. Luke’s Wood River.
- Our Emergency Department will remain operational, with all admissions transferring to an appropriate facility.
- Surgical and OB staff are on-call to perform emergent procedures. All non-emergent and elective procedures are being postponed.
- Services at our clinics within the community will also be temporarily suspended. We are reaching out to patients who currently have non-emergent appointments scheduled to convert these to a telehealth option, or to postpone them.
- Our COVID-19 drive-through screening and sample collection tent for patients exhibiting symptoms will remain operational from 10:00am – 6:00pm daily. Patients will be able to stay in their cars for screening, registration and, if needed, specimen collection.
- The Walk-In Clinic adjacent to the medical center will be open daily 10:00am – 6:00pm.
- The decision we have made regarding operations at Wood River we feel is an appropriate one to ensure the safety of our patients, providers and staff and will help us focus our resources where they are most needed – the emergency department, screening tent and walk-in clinic. We will continue to work with patients, their families and our teams at other locations to ensure they receive the care needed. We will continually work to keep our community informed. We thank you for your patience and cooperation.”
‘It is devilishly hard to think in terms of exponential growth. The human mind isn’t built for it. But this is exponential growth. If we don’t stop it now, what it will take — and cost — to stop it later will be far more horrifying.’
‘No other country has been this far into the pandemic and still had the number of cases growing at the rates the U.S. is seeing.’
From Idaho Department of Health & Welfare
‘Let us pray together for doctors, hospital staff, and volunteers who are giving their own lives to save others. And for civil leaders, for those who have to make decisions at this time. All these people are the pillars defending us in this crisis.’
In Italy, one priest asks for photos from his parishioners to place them in his sanctuary as he prays for them, everyone, during this time of pandemic.
From Hailey, Idaho’s Rev. Lea Colvill: ‘This Italian priest demonstrates how we see with our hearts.’
Father Richard Rohr, at the Center for Action & Contemplation in New Mexico:
‘As we grow in the spiritual life, our life will become increasingly centered. Only a few things will really matter. Because of the coronavirus outbreak, I see a lot of people right now thinking this way. There’s a sense that we’re all in this together—every continent, country, class, religion, race, age, or gender. We’re all subject to this crisis. Suffering has an ability to pull you into oneness.’
But in these dancing tears,
what is often withheld can be found:
Our country is staring down the most difficult challenge we have faced since World War II.
The coronavirus crisis poses a real threat to our health and economy, and requires a strong response — from our government, but also from each of us.
It’s natural to feel overwhelmed or powerless at a time like this, but we all have the power to help slow the spread of the coronavirus by taking simple steps. Here are a few pieces of guidance the CDC is giving right now:
Keep an eye out for more updates from the CDC and from your state and local health departments for updated guidance.
Even if you’re young and healthy, it is critical that you take all of these steps because they help protect the rest of your community. You’ll reduce the risk of unknowingly passing on the disease to someone else — someone older and less healthy than you who might become seriously ill if they contract the coronavirus. Think of the grandparents, cancer patients, and others out there who are counting on you to help keep them safe.
Do everything you can to follow these guidelines and take care of yourself. And if you’re able, please take care of your friends, your family, your neighbors, and anyone around you who might need a little extra help — pick up groceries for an older neighbor or order takeout from a local restaurant that is struggling.
But “social distance” doesn’t mean we should stop communicating. We need one another now more than ever. Keep checking in on people — texting, emailing, calling, video chatting, whatever works, and whatever keeps you talking with the people who make you strong.
If we all take this seriously, we can limit the number of people who get sick all at the same time, and make it easier for our health system to deliver care to everyone who needs it.
Taking action as individuals and as local communities is critical, but of course it’s not enough. Our government needs to step up and treat the coronavirus as the public health and economic crisis that it is. I’ve outlined an updated plan to do exactly that, including:
I’ll keep fighting in Washington to make sure our government takes this pandemic seriously and doesn’t use it as a giveaway to big companies that leaves everyday people behind.
The Trump administration failed to prepare us for this pandemic. It’s more important than ever for us to each do our part as citizens to support one another.
Now, I wish I could tell you that this crisis will be over by “X” date or within “Y” days.
But the reality is we just don’t know.
For a while, it’s going to be hard. For a lot of people, it’s going to be really hard. But it won’t last forever. And we do know this: When we look out for each other, we make each other stronger. We get through times like these when we fight side by side.