Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down: Community perseveres through pandemic
THUMBS UP: The Weber State University Dumke College of Health Professions recently donated and delivered medical supplies, including ventilators and N95 face masks, to McKay-Dee Hospital, Midtown Community Health Center and Ogden Clinic to help those facilities prepare for an expected increase in COVID-19 patients. These supplies, which in many places are becoming scarcer by the day as cases continue to climb, are critical to both assisting those who have already contracted the disease and preventing its spread — and it’s wonderful to see local groups sharing resources with each other when times are tough.
THUMBS UP: To Brigham City and its Community Activities and Services Department for attempts to make the world a little less frightening for its youngest residents. During these uncertain times of COVID-19, city employees have been trying to find ways to fill the world with a little positivity. One of their most recent projects is the Teddy Bear Hunt. Residents were invited to place a teddy bear in a window of their home, then send their address to the city. The city compiled the list of addresses and made them available to parents, allowing them to take their young children for a drive and let them “hunt” for teddy bears. “It was hugely popular,” one city employee said. “The city eventually had to ask people to stop sending their addresses because they just couldn’t keep up. There are teddy bears everywhere here.”
THUMBS UP: To the Weber County Library System for launching a new effort to issue library cards to those without so they can access online and digital materials. The libraries have closed their doors to the public due to coronavirus, but plenty of library materials are available for free to patrons online, like e-books, e-magazines, audio books, movies and more. If you already had a library card, you can access the materials. For those without a card, call 801-337-2673 for more info.
THUMBS UP: Counties in Northern Utah are joining Salt Lake leaders in taking the lead on preventing the spread of COVID-19 in Utah. Davis County and Weber County officials issued stay-at-home orders on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, calling for residents not to gather with people outside their households, regardless of the group’s size. Brian Bennion, executive director of Weber-Morgan Health District, said his department’s updated order falls short of an order to “shelter in place.” However, both orders carry potential penalties, which will likely only be enforced for egregious or repeat offenders. The virus is potentially life-threatening, and strong steps like these help stop unnecessary spread.
THUMBS DOWN: While the impact of the coronavirus hasn’t been felt equally in every location, situations like these beg for uniform action. The state can do more to lead in this shared fight. Local orders like those in Davis and Weber/Morgan counties go beyond Gov. Gary Herbert’s March 27 directive asking Utahns to “stay safe, stay home,” which is voluntary — and they’re consistent with the advice of top experts on COVID-19. Dr. Anthony Fauci, a leading voice on the White House coronavirus task force, told CNN on Thursday that he doesn’t understand why all governors have not issued stay-at-home orders. “We really should be,” he said. Although the nation is settling into a new normal, it’s important to remember why we’re doing what we’re doing. Every trip out in public has the potential to put yourself and others at risk.