As you are all aware, we are in an unprecedented situation. We, as a nation, are facing a viral pandemic. We have witnessed a 500% increase in confirmed infections in the United States in the last week. We went from three to 32 confirmed cases in North Dakota in less than a week.
The City of Fargo has taken swift and proactive measures to slow the spread of the virus via facility closures, remote work for many of its employees and employee travel suspensions.
If this virus continues to infect people exponentially, our goal in this is to slow the spread, flatten the curve and protect yourself. However, it is important to learn from our fellow Americans in New York and California. If we do not flatten our curve, our healthcare systems right here in Fargo will not be able to keep up if we see the level of exponential infections like we’re seeing on the coasts – it’s a mathematical certainty. That is why I am asking all of our residents to do the right thing.
As your Mayor, as a physician and as a father, I am asking each of you to physically distance yourselves from each other and stay home as much as possible.
COVID-19 is a serious threat to the health of not only the elderly and the vulnerable. It is a very real threat to every one of us. Young people are becoming infected as well.
I hear of healthy young people who are not concerned because of their strong immune systems. To them I ask:
- If you will not distance for your own health, will you distance for the sake of your grandparents, who are in the vulnerable age range?
- Will you distance for the sake of a friend’s mother undergoing chemotherapy with a weakened immune system from the treatment she is undergoing?
- Will you distance yourself for the sake of your friend with an underlying health condition he or she does not even know they have?
Young people are likely to survive a coronavirus infection – that is true, but that does not stop them from spreading the infection to those who are not fortunate enough to be able to fight an infection.
We need partners in this pandemic fight. Please stay at home. You can be the difference between winning and losing the battle.
I need you. Your city needs you.
Please think twice about taking those unnecessary trips outside the house. Hunker down and help us flatten this curve. Now.
Our information from the health department shows that we are not seeing people hunker down as they should. It is a blessing for all us if we can stay at home more and not travel around the city.
I like to think about baseball. It is the spring season anyways, but three strikes and you’re out. You should try to keep your trips to a minimum. Maybe you need to go to the grocery store, maybe the pharmacy, maybe the liquor store. However, if you can keep try to keep the number of trips down you take out of your house each day, that will truly make the difference.
Thank you very much.