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Growing COVID Concerns: 'We Should Have Listened To The Science People'

testing for covid

More than 600 Hoosiers have died from COVID-19 so far in November.. (Justin Hicks)

Curtis Carr is 73 years old. He wrote to City Limits because he says he’s worried about the growing number of COVID cases.

Carr lives in Linton In Greene County – where the state has confirmed about a thousand positive COVID cases.

“We should have listened to the science people from the very, very beginning instead of just shrugging them off,” he said. “And the old guys on TV all time, Fauci, we could have been listening to him from day one and people like him. Maybe wouldn't be in this big of a fix. 

Carr has two close acquaintances sick with the virus. It’s hitting close to home, and Carr is losing patience with people not taking it seriously.

“I think some of them still have the attitude if I get it, I’m young enough, and it’ll just be like a cold,” Carr said. “Well, maybe and maybe not. It's not a certainty that if you're below this age and you get it, it's not gonna be rough on you.”

READ MORE: Health Care Workers Overwhelmed, Emotional Toll Of COVID-19 'Long-Lasting'

Statewide, people over the age of 60 account for about 90 percent of COVID-related deaths. But the large majority of positive cases - about 80 percent - are among those younger than 60.

 According to the CDC, even people who are not hospitalized and who have mild illness can experience persistent or late symptoms. 

“Too many have said, I’ll just ride it out. And if I get it, so be it,” said Gov. Eric Holcomb.

He has pleaded with Hoosiers for weeks to wear masks, avoid crowds and practice social distancing.

“In February and March, the world didn’t know a lot about how COVID-19 was transmitted. We’re in a different time now.” Holcomb said. “We all know now, and we know what we can do to protect ourselves and one another.”

So, over the weekend a new executive order from the governor went into effect.

It places tighter restrictions on crowd sizes, extends the mask mandate for another month and requires social distancing whether people are indoors or outside.

READ MORE: Monroe County Turned Orange; Now What?

Carr said it’s a mixed bag in Greene County – it’s not fair to say everyone is ignoring the COVID guidelines, but there’s certainly not universal agreement.

“And then that's the only way we're going to whoop this thing I think, is if we want to keep things going and not just totally lock it down and tell you to keep your butt at home, then we're gonna have to follow some simple guidelines and stick to them,” Carr said.

Indiana’s death toll from the virus is inching closer to 5000 — more than 600 Hoosiers have died so far in November.

Graham McKeen, assistant director of public and environmental health at Indiana University, said the current wave of new COVID infections appears bigger and more widespread than the surges that happened in the spring and summer — and threatens to be worse.

“Still, even with 10 million cases in the United States, still, about 90% of the people have not had this disease. And you're coupling that with the highest level of spread yet,” Graham said.

There is good news on horizon. Pfizer and Moderna both said they have vaccines that may be more than 94% effective. 

But if they receive FDA approval, it will still be months before they are ready.  And in the meantime, McKeen said it’s important to remember there are still a lot of susceptible people.

“There's still no treatment or vaccine that's highly effective,” McKeen said. “Those things are coming, thankfully. And there's still a very high risk associated with this very new, mysterious respiratory virus.

Nearly a quarter of Indiana’s counties are now listed in the highest-risk category of coronavirus spread.

For the latest news and resources about COVID-19, bookmark our Coronavirus In Indiana page here.

 

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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