By Chris Maki, MD | Jamestown

I am writing as a physician, local surgeon and father. We should applaud Gov. Doug Burgum for his recent executive orders to stay at home if you or a household member is sick with the coronavirus and Jamestown Regional Medical Center's CEO Mike Delfs for suspending elective surgeries in Jamestown. As of April 8, there are 251 cases in the state with an average of 16 new cases per day over the last 9 days. We now have our first positive case in Stutsman County.

During the 1918 Spanish flu (based on current data, coronavirus or COVID is more contagious and more fatal than the Spanish flu) there was one town that had no cases and no deaths: Durango, Colorado. Durango’s sheriff shut down all travel in and out of the town. That is not feasible now but the point is well taken. Take it seriously. Lock it down.

We need to see each household as one unit. This means that any person leaving a house needs to be seen as all people leaving the house. Any person going out is risking exposure to all people at home. That is how this virus works. If there is a vulnerable person in your home – anyone older than 60 or with a medical condition – don’t go out. At all.

I beg the county: Close all retail stores. Close all hardware stores. Close all craft stores. Close all car dealerships. Hold online meetings and religious services. Grocery stores should be delivering to homes or offering pick up only. 90% of businesses should be closed. All of our workers are getting exposed to this pandemic, which means that all of their families are getting exposed. The longer we think we can play with fire, the longer we will have to deal with the ongoing spread of this disease.

We are not doing enough. We need to get 90% of our households 100% home.

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