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City needs daily reports on COVID numbers

By Staff | Nov 24, 2020

To the editor:

As I walked my dog on a beautiful Sanibel morning, I could not help but feel a bit depressed. I have the coronavirus. It’s ironic that I’ve contracted the virus considering I was one of the biggest proponents of a mask proclamation we now have in place on Sanibel, thanks to City Councilmembers Mick Denham, Holly Smith and Richard Johnson.

Being depressed about it was not my first reaction. I started out being very angry! Angry at the politicians who refuse to understand the severity of the pandemic and who rile up people to do the same, angry at the 50 people on our beach partying the other night with no mask in sight, angry at the fact that I now cannot see my daughters for Thanksgiving. Yes, I was very angry.

Then I was ashamed. Ashamed because I felt that once people knew I had the virus, they would start to wonder how I got it. Where was she? Did she not wear her mask? Did she go to a party? Was she irresponsible? Well, I can honestly say that I’ve followed all the CDC guidelines since March.

Eventually, as my temperature rose and I started to feel weaker and generally pretty sick, I was scared. Scared because I did not know where this disease would lead me. I am 65 years old with a history of asthma and although I’m in pretty good shape, I am still at risk. But most of all I was scared about the future, and if I would actually have a future. That’s right, you do think that way when you are 65 and you get coronavirus, because you don’t know what’s in store for you tomorrow, next week, next month or next year. You have no idea what contracting this disease means for your future health, should you be lucky enough to have that future.

Lastly, something actually wonderful has come out of this whole situation. Friends have rallied from all over the island to deliver groceries, food, supplies, flowers, messages, concern and care. I am overwhelmed with the spirit of all of you, and it reminds me of why I love this community so very much.

That is why I need to finally say that Sanibel is at great risk in the coming weeks. The governor of Illinois called the situation in the Midwest a “Corona Storm,” and we all know that our season is upon us and most of the people coming to Sanibel are from the Midwest and the north. We are also already seeing a very substantial uptick in our COVID numbers.

The city of Sanibel needs to start publishing daily reports on COVID numbers immediately. If the citizens of Sanibel are asked to be responsible in making their own choices about their health, then they must have all the information available to do that.

Until then, my advice to all of you is to be aware of your surroundings, keep socially distancing, and for God’s sake wear your mask!

Arlene Dillon

Sanibel