To the editor,

In the Nov. 18 and 21, 2020 issues of The Palladium-Times, there appeared two very fine articles (both front-page, above the crease!) about the appearance and re-surging of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Oswego County.

As previously stated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, during his many, International Emmy Award- televised talks to New York State residents and others, our New York City and State infection source was very likely from Europe, not directly from China. Nevertheless, it ultimately got to Oswego and beyond!

While the actions of New York state officials did much to reduce the negative impact of this new and dangerous virus, the responses of our regional and local officials were further reasoned and very effective. Moreover, our local and regional news outlets were very professional doing their job of keeping our communities informed.

We know that we can protect ourselves and our families by minimizing our interactions with one-another and by keeping our hands and faces cleared of coronavirus germs. This seems simple enough, but now we are talking about a period of months, perhaps throughout the summer of 2021 and beyond before a vaccine is widely available! And, we are talking about the willingness of people to sacrifice their very human desires to associate and interact in countless ways.

That sounds simple enough; however, now we are entering into everyone’s favorite, near continual holiday seasons Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. It is a harsh period this year; suddenly our basic feelings are hindered by fear and anxiety. No one is comforted completely.

That this pandemic looks like a classic 100-year event is unnerving. That this is a widespread pandemic crossing international borders is even more unnerving. In the United States, alone, we have seen more than 100,000 new cases each day for past couple of weeks. Continuing crowds of people have increased contact susceptibility and opportunity. Note: The larger the crowd, the greater the opportunity. Note further, however, that the spread opportunity increases exponentially, not linearly.

Mayor Barlow published (Nov. 18 Pall-Times) a recommended list of precautions to protect yourselves, your families and others; Oswego County Health Officials published a similar list in the Nov. 21 issue of the Pall-Times. I would ask and recommend, dear readers that you read those lists of recommendations published in those two cited articles. I would further request that The Palladium-Times republish those lists.

Happy Holidays to all, but take care and be safe! Wear your masks and keep your safe distances; minimize your crowd size.

Terry Hammill

Oswego

Hammill is a Ph.D., Microbiologist and distinguished teaching professor emeritus at SUNY Oswego. He is a former chair of the SUNY Oswego Biology Department and served as Oswego mayor from 1992-1999.

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