By LOUIS MANZO
Harrison Township Mayor
Is there another topic to write about besides the COVID-19 virus? I think not, and rightly so. This is an unprecedented occurrence that has evolved into a worldwide nightmare. I began writing mayor updates about two weeks ago to keep our community well informed on the status of the virus and resources available to residents and business owners. If you haven’t connected to that, go to Mullica Hill Connect and sign up at http://harrisontwp.us/residents-contact/.
This Mayor’s Message will not attempt to do that, recognizing the lack of time sensitivity of a weekly periodical. I am writing on Thursday, March 19, for submission by today’s deadline. You’re reading it about a week later.
This outbreak is so fluid and so volatile, that as I write, I wish I knew now what you all know as you read this. How many confirmed cases in the state and Gloucester County are there? As I write, there are 427 confirmed cases in the state, two in Gloucester County and five deaths statewide. Regardless, what remains the same is our individual need to do all we can personally to abide by the health and social distancing protocols that we have become familiar with. In the long run, this will limit the spread of the novel coronavirus and “flatten the curve” of the outbreak sooner and, ultimately, it will save lives.
It is my hope that by the time you read this the recognition to follow the personal isolation and social distancing protocols will have penetrated everyone’s mindset. The truth is that many have chosen to minimize the importance of these protocols. But as we learn more about this COVID-19 strain, we now know that in 85 percent of the cases, the infected individual never knew they had it. Maybe they had slight symptoms for a few days? Maybe not? The point is that even if you don’t feel sick enough to be concerned or even seek a test, you have the virus and you can pass it on. In 85 percent of the cases! Hence, these isolation/distancing protocols are the key to controlling the exponential spread of the virus.
I’ve heard the analogy that if Amazon delivered 10 boxes to your doorway of things that you ordered but advised you that they made a mistake and one of the boxes had a bomb in it that explodes when you open it, would you even consider bringing those boxes into your home? We can all do without some of the things or activities in our normal life for a little while. This is not normal.
If you need to connect or reconnect to the “basics” of the coronavirus with links to some great resources, go to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html.
Practice safe behavior and this will pass sooner, and then we can focus on getting back to normal and patronizing our local businesses and living life in Mullica Hill.
Louis Manzo is the mayor of Harrison Township. He can be reached at LManzo@harristontwp.us.