Sigh. Whether it was the holidays, mask fatigue, a surge in travel, or whatever the progress in the spring followed by the slide in the summer has been followed by a spike in autumn. Covid, corona, the pandemic didn’t just nudge its way back in, it came back in force. Sad to say, restrictions have been necessary, again. There are two bits of good news. According to the South Whidbey Record, “Although the pandemic has hurt the local economy, unemployment numbers are gradually improving.” And at least in some neighborhoods, mask use is becoming more common.
Here’s the data from the County.
Last month’s bulge in the data became a spike.
The ‘Rate Of Newly Diagnosed Cases Per 100,000 People’ rose to over 100 per 100,000. The target for helping ease restrictions is 25, which is where the County (including Camano Island) was for most of the year. Within a short time it doubled, then doubled again.
Instead of looking at the rate, it’s also possible to see the spike in the ‘Total Number Of Cases’. The recent case count actually exceeded the early peak from back when Washington State was seen as one of the epicenters of the pandemic.
The disease has affected the entire county with the majority of cases being in Oak Harbor (the largest city in the county), Camano Island (which isn’t broken into areas like Whidbey has been), and Coupeville (which reflects various care facilities, which might be concentrated there because of the hospital.)
In comparison, Island County continues to do well relative to other counties in Washington State, possibly because we’re somewhat remote and enjoy some Rural Distancing.
Washington State is also doing well relative to other states, possibly because we’ve been treating it more seriously for longer.
The effort isn’t over. Fortunately, even despite mask fatigue, many are also becoming more comfortable wearing them. Some are even getting stylish about it. Creative people will create. And, the news of possible vaccines is encouraging. Months of effort remain, but many might just be doing the right things the right way at the right time. Thanks for everyone who is treating this serious situation responsibly.