On Oct. 23, state officials announced 550 new COVID-19 cases, a new single-day record for Oregon. A week later, the record shattered: Oregon reached 600 cases reported in a single day. Gov. Kate Brown and the Oregon Health Authority have warned that, with flu season and the holidays fast approaching, Oregonians should avoid travel and social gatherings. Nonetheless, the OHA has traced many new cases to get-togethers held in private residences. In an interview with WW, Multnomah County communicable disease coordinator Kim Toevs attributed the spike in house party-caused cases to "pandemic fatigue"—Oregonians are less willing to adhere to health guidelines after eight months of social distancing. Here's what out readers had to say:
Christoph Elliot via wweek.com: "This isn't rocket science, people. This is a deadly, highly communicable disease. We need to just cancel the holidays this year. People will survive and get over it. It's a small sacrifice to keep people alive. Stop being selfish children. Wear a mask everywhere, socially distance, don't socialize, don't gather, don't travel. It's not forever."
Tina Garcia via Facebook: "I have only left home twice, to renew my driver's license and get my flu shot. I can't trust my neighbors and fellow citizens to care if I die. So I am home."
@cathyxOR via Twitter: "I can't believe [Gov. Brown] hasn't closed everything down again."
Just Doing the Math via wweek.com: "With the upcoming holiday season, the prognosis for success of limiting family and social get-togethers is poor. It does not matter whether I agree or disagree with the experts, families will celebrate the holidays together."
Julia Scott via Facebook: "It's really shitty to be putting in effort to stay away from people when most have given up. I'm not seeing the point anymore. Unless everyone can do it, it doesn't matter otherwise."
Joel Getz via Facebook: "Well, I think a lot of us figure that if none of us have left the house in the past week, the chance of any of us having COVID is pretty low."
Tyler Whitney via Facebook: "I don't blame people for having small mindful/cautious gatherings. It's untenable/unhealthy to be in lockdown mode for months and months and months."
David D. Gray via Facebook: "Pandemic fatigue is a selfish joke. Most people don't know what real adversity is, they've lived their lives in a protected bubble. Try living in a war-torn country or an underdeveloped country, you'll see what a hard life is all about. The people with 'fatigue' are just selfish pricks that can't sacrifice a little for the good of the entire mankind, it's all about them."
Scrappymutt via wweek.com: "One day does not make a trend. Over the month of October, Oregon has held steady around 350 new cases per day. Higher than the previous average around 200, but much lower than places like Iowa, that are averaging over 1,000 new cases per day in spite of being a rural state with a million fewer residents than Oregon. Most of the research shows that it is probably related to mask usage. WW has now established a history of exaggerating the threat, so I am not going to trust it."
Katherine Bailey via Facebook: "At what point do I get to complain about my freedoms? All those with compromised immune systems, caregivers, etc., are all forced to live in quarantine because you fuckers refuse to think about anyone but yourselves. Sick of paying for your ignorance with my freedom."
Letters to the editor must include the author's street address and phone number for verification. Letters must be 250 or fewer words.
Submit to: 2220 NW Quimby St., Portland, OR 97210.