Opinion: Let's inform the public of COVID consequences, costs, says West Stockholm resident
My letter last week was intended FYI and not as a letter to editor. Matt Denner of County Emergency Services, and my Legislator Suzanne Fiacco (Stockholm) are both working very hard to correct several issues I identified in St. Lawrence County’s handling of COVID-19. I highly praise their genuine concern and work.The burden to inform the public in a timely manner during an emergency (County Comprehensive Emergency Plan), is the responsibility of the Chairman of the Board of Legislatures, William Sheridan. Mr. Sheridan must ensure public access to Board of Health department meeting minutes; ambulance helicopter diversions and costs; ICU bed capacity; Explain Crisis Standard of Care (CSC); Who implements CSC in a Army field tent?; Surge and Flex System of postponement of elective procedures; Coordinate public information, activate the county website with press releases…
There appears to be coordination of censorship on the county level concerning COVID-19 information. Quick summary: St. Lawrence Board of Elections website and letters recruiting poll workers had no mention of COVID-19 at all, anywhere; Department of Public Health recommends State of Emergency Declaration, and according to the Assistant of the Chairman, makes no recommendation or guidance to accompany this recommendation; Chairman of the Legislature, Mr. Sheridan, may issue emergency orders, and during an emergency “Public Warning… timely, reliable, and effective method to warn the public… coordinate official announcements and media briefings…verify accuracy… check and control spread of rumors” (page 25 County Emergency Plan). Is this happening?
Tell us the consequences of the unvaccinated on availability of care, staffing shortages, burden on ambulances services, costs to taxpayers, Medicaid related property tax increases etc. A retired professor friend has been wondering: “Where is the public data on the vaccine status of the covid dead in the county? How many of those 161 dead might have survived their illness had we been more forceful in advocating public support of public health efforts?”
Masks, COVID-19 vaccinations, COVID-19 tests, information and awareness have their limits. I argue that this limit was reached long ago and that now is the time inform the public of COVID-19 consequences and costs. Information has to go way beyond reporting daily Covid numbers and deaths.