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Ignoring common sense can be costly

Posted on: 10/15/2020

Within the last two weeks, Bradford Regional Medical Center and Olean General Hospital suspended visiting over concerns of increasing community spread of COVID-19. As I said in a recent article which appeared in the Bradford Era, the virus is in the Bradford community and the prediction of a fall surge by worldwide medical experts is coming true.

I also said in the article that the community was not taking this pandemic seriously. Then I saw the front page of the Bradford Era Oct. 15. A photograph of a large rally in Bradford was more than distressing, not because of any political view but because it was difficult to find anyone wearing a mask in the gathering where people were elbow-to-elbow. The virus doesn’t care that you are outside.

While healthcare workers are putting their lives on the line day in and day out to care for patients and risk potential exposure, many people in the community clearly and completely ignore safety. It’s disturbing that some of these same people, who are so cavalier about spreading the virus, could potentially be knocking on the door of BRMC in a couple of weeks looking for our hospital to save their lives.

Wearing a mask and maintaining social distance is not a sign of any political affiliation or weakness. It’s just common sense, like wearing a coat in winter. As Americans, we have rights, but we do not have the right to threaten the health and safety of others.

If a second wave hits in earnest and our hospitals are pushed to their limits, we will be prepared. However, the community must start doing their part. It is disrespectful to all those healthcare workers who fight to save lives and protect health for the community to ignore this pandemic.

It’s time for everyone to step up.

William F. Mills, M.D., MMM, CPE, FAAPL, FAAFP
Chief Medical Officer
Upper Allegheny Health System

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