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Community will pull together in the days ahead

Posted 3/25/20

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s projection on Tuesday regarding the rapid acceleration of the coronavirus is unsettling — but not altogether unanticipated. In his daily briefing, the governor said …

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Community will pull together in the days ahead

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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s projection on Tuesday regarding the rapid acceleration of the coronavirus is unsettling — but not altogether unanticipated.

In his daily briefing, the governor said according to the state’s latest numbers, there will be a need for 140,000 hospital beds compared to projections last week that 110,000 beds would be needed, and compared to the 53,000 normally available.

“We’re not slowing it, and it is accelerating on its own,” Cuomo said. “The apex is higher than we thought, and the apex is sooner than we thought. That is a bad combination of fa cts.” The hospitalization rate is at 23%, according to Cuomo.

They are alarming figures, to be sure, and ones not to be taken lightly.

Already, the region has showed an admirable togetherness, courage and tenacity — which will undoubtedly serve us well in the days that are nearly certain to arrive. As while we practice social distancing, our physical separation cannot and will not weaken the togetherness our region has forged over generations.

The Rome Rescue Mission, its staff and volunteers are out helping those in need in the community through its mobile van, dropping off food and other supplies throughout the city.

Teachers from across the region remain hard at work, providing online instruction and trying to keep some semblance of normality for our children. These are scary times for adults, let alone children, and these educators and other schools personnel are often providing as much emotional support as educational support.

Health care workers — particularly those on the front lines — are showing, once again, that providing care and compassion is more a calling than a job. They have, and continue to, put their own health on the line to help care for us all.

First responders, friends, and neighbors have all demonstrated what it means to look out for one another.

While we have, by most accounts, not seen anything close to the wave that is coming, we believe that these bonds of community may stretch, but will not break.

We are buoyed by the strength of our church communities; by area residents who are shooing away recognition while they sew face masks at the kitchen table; by children who are leaving food on the doorsteps of strangers; by local politicians who long ago demonstrated the desire to serve as best they can, whether it means crossing aisles or ideologies, and by local organizations and individuals who are doing absolutely whatever they can to help prepare and mitigate the impending crisis.

It may take all of our resolve to weather the COVID-19 outbreak, but we can, and we will, together.

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