Posted on December 20, 2020
In response to Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine’s time limited mitigation measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, SeniorLAW Center joined Health, Education, Law and Labor advocates in support of the Commonwealth’s Plan. In applauding the plan, SeniorLAW Center Executive Director Karen Buck is quoted in the Governor’s announcement as saying:
“The older Pennsylvanians we serve at SeniorLAW Center – our grandparents, parents, older veterans – have made enormous sacrifices throughout their lives for the benefit of all of us, through wars, the Great Depression, other health and national crises. They are most affected by this virus now, and need our sacrifice, which indeed benefits us all. We join the Governor in asking all Pennsylvanians to follow the mitigation protocols to come together to help end this crisis, for the sake of our kids, families, seniors, those hit hard by illness, financial strife or continuing racial disparities, all of us.”
Read the full press release here
The governor’s mitigation efforts which started December 12th and will end January 4th include banning all indoor dining at restaurants, bars and clubs, prohibiting indoor gatherings of more than 10 people and prohibiting outdoor gatherings of more than 50 people. Read the full list of mitigation measures here
The Governor’s measures are necessary. What we do over the next few weeks will impact whether many of us see the New Year. In Pennsylvania and in every corner of our country, COVID-19 cases continue to surpass record highs. The total number of cases has doubled from what it was only 6 weeks ago- from 200,000 to 400,000 new cases. At SeniorLAW Center our clients have been disproportionately impacted by this virus. Older people are at the highest risk for COVID-19. 39% of all COVID-19 deaths have been in nursing homes. And according to the CDC, people of color are almost three times as likely as whites to die from COVID-19.
Our healthcare system is on the precipice of being overwhelmed. Crowded conditions and dwindling resources are a reality in hospitals across the Commonwealth. And so are staffing shortages due to increased patient needs and medical workers falling ill themselves.
Sadly, we are seeing the results of people not social distancing during the Thanksgiving holiday. So as we approach what for many are the most important holidays of the year- a time for family and gatherings, we need to have some hard conversations. Going into our Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa celebrations it is imperative we put community first.
We must protect each other- our neighbors, families, friends, our doctors and our nurses and health care and essential workers. We can stop the spread of COVID-19 if we work together so please follow the advice of Pennsylvania’s Health Department- the experts! Stay safe and see the New Year.