It is hard to quantify the impact COVID has made on all of us. None of us have escaped without an impact on our lives and the lives of those around us. For some, the impact has been painful and life changing.
None of us has ever gone through something like this before. Many of us have had to miss out on life events we can never get back. Could we as leaders and as a community have done better or made better decisions? I am sure we will debate this for the rest of our lives. Hind Sight is 20/20. It is easier to look back and second-guess every decision that was made.
From my perspective, everyone involved, from the Governor, to the Secretary of Health, to the county health officer and director, and to the medical professionals all around us, everyone is doing the best they can. Nevertheless, every decision that is made seems to bring out many supporters and critics. Trying to make public policy on this pandemic has been the most challenging aspect in all my years in elected office. Unfortunately, it is not possible to make perfect decisions or create perfect strategies.
Today, the big decision is how to roll out the extremely limited vaccine. We have way more people that want and need the vaccine than we have available. This disparity may last for months. Again, there are no perfect strategies.
Sedgwick County is starting with the oldest and frailest among us. One of the thoughts behind this is to realize which demographic constitutes the majority of the patients suffering from COVID in the hospitals and who is dying from the virus. As of today Sedgwick County is vaccinating those that are 83 years of age and up.
The fact is, we all wish we had more vaccine. The county is communicating with KDHE that based on our population, we believe 17% of the vaccine that comes into the state should come to our county. That is our fair share. Our goal is to get the vaccine administered to the most vulnerable as quickly as possible.
Thankfully our WSU MDL lab continues to be a successful tool in providing accurate Covid tests with a tremendously quick turn around helping our businesses to respond quickly and enables them to function safely. Our SG residents are able to receive quick results and get back to work as soon as possible.
The best news I can share with you is that the COVID case numbers and hospital numbers are marginally improving every week since before Thanksgiving. Many feared the spike would set us back and overwhelm the hospitals even more. Thankfully, that did not happen. I credit the people among us for doing great things that made that happen.
I believe the worst of this pandemic is behind us. As the calendar turns towards summer, the days are filled with more sunshine, and people spend more time in the outdoors, I am hopeful that this pandemic will subside. On top of that, as the vaccine continues to roll out, the COVID threat to this community must weaken.
Let us have hope, better times are coming. No one knows for sure yet but I am optimistic that around mid to late summer, perhaps we can say we won.