So starts the Queen’s speech to the citizens of Great Britain yesterday. As we enter what is expected to be the most challenging phase of our collective Covid-19 experience, I beg all of us to follow both Mayor Walsh and Governor Baker’s directives. Specific to what Boston Mayor Walsh said on Sunday that there are real and manageable recommendations to follow.
We do not live in a dictatorship. We are expected to use common sense and follow the guidelines laid out by our leaders voluntarily. These guidelines are more than reasonable and by following them you will do your part, perhaps save a life or flatten the curve. In case you still need a few more deadening statistics to move you into the reality of this pandemic right in Boston: As of Sunday, 189 beds at Mass General Hospital were filled with confirmed Covid infection. Of those 189 human beings 75 patients were on ventilators. Across town at Beth Israel Hospital, there were 86 confirmed Covid cases and another 71 suspected Covid patients hospitalized. Also, at the BI, there were 106 employees who were positive for Covid. In Boston 45 % of our cases are among those under 40 years and we are seeing a more substantial burden of severe illness among those individuals. Boston is still 10 (or more) days away from what we expect will be Ground Zero as determined by public health modeling.
We need everyone to get on board with these recommendations. I have watched Queen Elizabeth’s 3-minute message of hope, strength and most importantly of comfort several times over and I suggest it as an antidote to the doom and gloom many of us may be feeling. You will come away both energized and calmed. Here is a nearly 94-year-old woman upright and cognitively intact comforting us. ( https://youtu.be/1my36mbUFLM).
The recommendations set out by the City and the Boston Public Health Commission ask that we all wear a facial covering nose to chin when we are outside. At the very least masks are a deterrent to us touching our faces with hands that may have germs on them. If everyone wears a mask, we will psychologically be in tune that all of us are at risk; all of us can make a difference. A second advisory to remain inside your home after 9 PM until 6 AM is more than reasonable. These guidelines are for everyone. If we do as asked there is hope that we can flatten the curve. There is hope that those most vulnerable among us; the aged, those with asthma, diabetes, cardiac, liver and kidney disease as well as those who are immunosuppressed by cancers, HIV/AIDS, and other autoimmune illnesses will remain alive and able to thank you for your sacrifices. We are stronger together. We are Boston Strong.
For additional concerns, please visit https://www. bosotn.gov/coronavirus, or call 3-1-1 the 24-hour hotline. Text BOSCOVID to 99411 to receive text alerts regularly that is available in 6 languages.