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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

March 25, 2020 - 00:00

PUPS World Spay Day 2020 a local success!

This year World Spay Day took place Feb. 25. PUPS – Prevent Unwanted Pets - observed this day by offering free spay and neuter surgery during the month of February to Pitbull and Pitbull mix dogs living in Austin, Colorado, Fayette, Fort Bend, Lavaca, Waller, Washington and Wharton counties. PUPS approved 143 dogs for free surgery! Statistics show Pitbull and Pitbull mix dogs are the number one dogs being bred in America and account for the majority of shelter intakes nationally. They often have a long road to adoption and are being euthanized in shelters at shocking rates. We would like to thank veterinary clinics, the media, volunteers and pet owners that helped make World Spay Day 2020 a local success.

PUPS – Prevent Unwanted Pets pro vides year round spay and neuter assistance to pet owners that cannot afford the surgery cost. For more information on donating to PUPS or spaying or neutering your pet, please call (979) 732 - 5591 or visit PUPS at www.pupsofcatspring.com.

It’s not stupid. And here’s why The President said it two weeks ago and again last week. The Governor said it last week. The County Judge and our Mayor said it, too. We must immediately stop socializing in groups to get ahead of a major outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus here in Columbus and throughout the country.

I’ve heard many people say this is stupid. It’s NOT stupid. I had a good long talk with Mayor Gobert last week. She explained it very clearly. She also did a live, in-depth video interview with the Colorado County Citizen and another one on KULM Radio 98.3. Both are available on the Chamber of Commerce website at columbustexas.org/coronavirus.

The bottom line is this: COVID-19, the coronavirus is a “novel” virus, meaning it is brand new. No one in the world has have been exposed to this before and none of us have the antibodies to fight it. It has affected all 52 states of America and has spread like wildfire.

80-90% of the people who get the virus will get through absolutely fine. We’ll have fevers, congestion, coughs and such. But we’ll be fine. If you’re showing symptoms, stay at home. Keep it at home, the Mayor says.

However, 10-20% of infected people have complicated cases; many with severe respiratory problems which will quite likely require hospitalization.

Columbus Community Hospital has been ranked as one of the finest rural hospitals in Texas. But do the math, folks. Our hospital is meant to serve an area

Our hospital is meant to serve an area made up of about 10,000 people. If 10- 20% of those people require hospitalization that would be 1,000 or more cases.

Our little hospital, as good as it is, has only 41 beds. They do not have the personnel or the supplies to handle that kind of onslaught.

The number of confirmed cases in Texas doubled last week. If it continues that way, it could become catastrophic. This is why we must take steps, here and now, to slow down the spread of the virus.

Some of you have told me it’s been blown out of proportion – that we don’t have any cases here in Colorado County. Well think about this: We didn’t have any testing in Colorado County until last week. Our neighboring counties already have confirmed cases.

Many of us have been outside of the county in the last few weeks. Some have been out of the state. Some have even been out of the country. Not only that, we have out-of-towners who come into Columbus every day.

Even though we’ve seen no cases (as of the time of this writing), it doesn’t mean we won’t. So, let’s curb it while we can.

• Wash your hands frequently for 30 seconds

• Use hand sanitizer with friction for 30 seconds

• Practice social distancing. It’s recommended that people stay six feet from one another where possible.

• The President, the Governor and the CDC are all advising us to avoid any sort of gathering of more than groups of ten people.

• Local restaurants, bars and gyms are being asked to cease serving inside their place of business by midnight tomorrow. Just to clarify, because there’s been a lot of confusion today, that’s 11:59 pm on Friday, March 20th.

• Carry-out, drive-thru and delivery services can continue

• Our local schools are closed at least until April 3rd.

These steps are NOT stupid. They are crucial. The Mayor says that through these actions, she’s hoping the virus will plateau and we can contain this.

Let’s keep calm, everyone. Be kind to one another. Take deep breaths. Go for walks. Be safe. We’ll get through this.

Don’t believe everything you read on Facebook. Don’t listen to rumors, and for goodness sake, please don’t spread these rumors.

Continue to shop local where you can. Use the drive-thru or carryout services. Some local retailers have websites where we can order their products.

Our grandparents were called to war. We are simply being called to stay home and avoid groups for a few weeks. We can do this.

For reliable, up-to-date, information, check our special web page at www. columbustexas.org/coronavirus/. We update it frequently.

Billy Kahn Executive Director

Executive Director

Columbus Chamber of Commerce