Two local news stories jump up to compete for top billing today. They each concerned the pandemic that is raging in Wisconsin. And they both were being talked about in advance of Governor Tony Evers making a statewide address this evening about the virus.
The first story is yet another record number of COVID cases reported in our state. The sobering news of 7,073 cases means that the seven-day average for daily confirmed cases is a record 5,825. It needs to be noted that the previous record was Saturday with 7,065 cases.
The other data that made news also causes great concern as COVID hospitalizations in Wisconsin broke 2,000 for the first time Monday as intensive care patients number a near-record 396. Also noted is the death of 66 more Wisconsinites from the virus.
The other story that is hard to fathom and absorb comes from the Wisconsin State Journal.
Madison police found one apartment party with 91 people, according to a complaint filed by the City Attorney’s Office. At another, the tenants told police they were aware of the order limiting indoor gatherings to 10 people, but said they thought the gathering was allowed because of the roughly 23 people in attendance, all but 10 had previously tested positive for COVID-19.
There are no words I can use on this family-friendly site, to sum up the disdain I have for these types of social gatherings. Clearly, the drinkers and party-goers were not aware of the statistics in Dane County that with a gathering of 10 people, there is a 32% chance of being exposed to someone with COVID-19. In a crowd of 50, the chance goes up to 85%.
What is left unsaid by either of those two news accounts is that Wisconsin legislative lawmakers have no plans, policies, or any type of restrictions in place to address a public health crisis. There is simply one long yawn from the GOP-controlled state senate and assembly. The ones elected to serve the state have decided to go AWOL!
This blogger has heard from attendees of large events in the state, from weddings in October with hundreds of guests to bars packed in Northern Wisconsin for televised sporting events. Clearly, selfishness and greed have outpaced humanity for each other.
I am as mystified by the lack of responsibility from the legislature as I am from the ones in the state who refuse to wear a mask while pretending that any bar, store, or event can be populated like last year at this time. The lack of regard for their own safety and the health of others is truly unsettling.
Today Governor Tony Evers’ administration released data estimates that paint the truly horrific outcome of not making a very concerted effort to stem the virus. With data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, it was reported the state’s COVID-19 death toll may reach 5,000 people by January 1, 2021.
It goes without saying the punch from the virus is getting worse, and the economic impact felt statewide by business owners and employees, alike, is becoming direr. If there is to be an upturn in sales and hirings there must be a stark decline in the number of COVID cases. Yet the ones being most negatively impacted too often refuse to even abide by the easiest means at stopping the spread of the virus.
And so it goes.