Letter to the Editor
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Dear Members of My Community:
I’m coming to you today as a concerned wife, mother, daughter, grandmother and community member. My family is absolutely the most precious motivation for my existence, with God as my guiding light. My husband and I moved to Northeast Missouri more than a decade ago from a bustling metropolitan area. We were drawn to the country by the freedom of the beautiful wide-open spaces and the giving people that came with that land.
Now our world is faced with a pandemic, the likes of which we’ve never seen before. I know you all have heard stories of others that have contracted the virus, or maybe they’re your family or friends that have had it and are now happily recovered. But don’t be fooled, the virus is real and potentially deadly to not only the elderly and immune-compromised, but occasionally, unsuspecting healthy victims. Virologist Dr. Benjamin TenOever, Professor of Microbiology at the Icahn School of Medicine recently (November 6, 2020) published his team’s findings in the journal Cell. “Every cell in our body shares the same DNA and single-strand RNA, which acts like software, programming the cell to make proteins.” TenOever’s team discovered that SARS-CoV-2 (a/k/a Covid-19) was remarkably good at disrupting that cellular programming, with the novel coronavirus replacing 60% of the RNA in an infected cell, as opposed to less than 1% of a typical virus. Dr. TenOever was astonished with that RNA percentage: “This is the highest I’ve ever seen! Polio comes close!” Dr. TenOever maintains that our immune response is imbalanced when it perceives the virus and that is what causes strange swelling in children, potentially deadly blood clots and the mega-inflammatory cytokine storm that ravages lungs, hearts, brains and other organs. (find original article)
I relay this not to scare you, but rather to give you some background facts relating to the virus’s virulence.
What motivated me to write to you today was a recent encounter my husband and I had with a dear lady, Jan Barry, who works at the USDA in Macon. We were dropping off some equipment after a prescribed burn on our farm and we discovered Jan had just lost her husband Jim to Covid-19 the month before. Her husband was a very healthy and active 77-year-old farmer that was just getting ready to start calving with his herd. He didn’t have any underlying conditions going into the illness. They believe he contracted the virus from a church member. They thought they were socially distancing but were not wearing masks. He entered the hospital with Covid after just a few days of feeling bad on August 25, 2020 and succumbed on September 9, 2020. Jan and Jim had been married 38 years, have three grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Jan is devastated, as any of us would be in her shoes! We ask for your prayers of healing for her in this very tough time! She also has given her blessing to us relating this to all of you today so that you all are aware that Covid truly is a potentially deadly disease for unknowing and not always predictable victims!
I know the holiday season is almost upon us, so many of us will gather with our families for those events. However, I’m asking you to go into this season with a word of caution. Please wear masks in public places, if not for you, for others. In fact, the CDC just released new guidelines stating that masks not only protect “thee” but “me” too! That’s you! The masks also give you a little more awareness of your fellow man to maintain social distances with corresponding hygiene. So, before you go to those larger gatherings, like church, please maintain those distances with masks. If you have lost your sense of smell or have head and body aches, have developed diarrhea or you just don’t feel yourself, please think about skipping any type of gathering, so you don’t possibly endanger others. The same goes for having a previously extended encounter with someone who has contracted the disease. Joining your family on Zoom for the holidays is not the same I know, but it shows you love them if you take a pass on those gatherings based on your possible immune-compromised situations.
I’m writing this because my husband and I care about all of you. That also goes for the dedicated team of professionals working at Scotland County Hospital 24 hours a day 7 days a week. They signed up for that job to help you, any way they can, with your health needs. But they can’t do their job as effectively without your prevention help! So, let’s do everything we can, in our power, with simple steps of mask wearing, social distancing, hygiene and keen awareness of our day-to-day health, to have a happy, healthy Thanksgiving and Christmas season in 2020!
God’s Blessings to All of You!