Sense of Nebraska connection makes virus threat very real

Article Image Alt Text

After weeks of watching reports about the threat and gradual spread of COVID-19, Nebraskans are now on or uncomfortably close to the front lines of a health scare.
This week’s report of a confirmed case of coronavirus in Omaha was not a surprise to health officials. Experts there are trained to treat patients dealing with life-threatening, highly contagious health threats, and they do it well.
Nonetheless, Nebraska’s first documented case has heightened our sense of alarm and changed the tone of daily reports on a disease that remains a bit of a mystery. It’s a “fluid situation” now, meaning things could change quickly.
One of the things I’ve always enjoyed about living in Nebraska is the sense of connection. That makes a threat like this more real because you don’t have to look far to know someone who has been impacted in some way.
Our family moved to Aurora from Fremont 20 years ago, so the weekend reports of that Dodge County community being on high alert got my attention. Schools are closed all week in Fremont due to the fact that the 36-year-old Omaha woman diagnosed with coronavirus attended a Special Olympics event at the Fremont YMCA.
I worked out, swam and played men’s league basketball at that wonderful facility for years, so know first hand how many people go there on a daily basis. Not knowing how much contact or exposure it takes to spread this virus means there is little choice but to error on the side of caution, tracking the steps of coronavirus victims and letting people know that they might have been exposed.
The impact is being felt in some ways right here in Hamilton County as well. I’ve learned of several business and/or personal trips/conferences being cancelled due to the coronavirus threat, especially for those with underlying health conditions. I’ve also been told by one business that having access to the supply chain of products needed three months down the road is uncertain at best because some of those parts are made in China.
The key is not to panic, but to listen carefully to health advisories and do the simple things we can do here at home to protect ourselves, our families and our community. Washing our hands thoroughly, and often, staying home if you don’t feel well and stocking up on basic supplies is a new normal for the foreseeable future. We can do that, as well as say a daily prayer for victims, and that this virus be eliminated as quickly as possible
Kurt Johnson

Rate this article: 
No votes yet