Publisher’s Letter: Social Isolation Flattens the Curve!

By Blaine Howerton, Publisher
North Forty News

Before this pandemic is over, many hundreds of thousands of people will become infected and many with minor or no symptoms, yet with protective antibodies going forward. But while their own symptoms may be so minor that they don’t even know they actively harbor the virus, they will still have the ability to infect others unbeknownst to them.

As a result, most urgent to government officials and health care providers across the country is to slow the rate at which the virus is transmitted so that medical facilities are not overwhelmed as they have been in other countries, most notably, Italy.

The word “unprecedented” is often used to describe what we are currently experiencing and for almost all of us alive today, nothing comes close to what we are seeing and experiencing on a day-to-day basis.

So we may feel that social isolation does not make much of a difference. But as indicated in an excellent article (paraphrased below) on the LiveScience website by Brandon Specktor, citing Drew Harris, a population health researcher at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, we have clear historical evidence that social isolation DOES work!

In 1918 when the Spanish flu was ravaging the globe with an even more virulent strain of the virus, two U. S. cities, Philadelphia and St. Louis, were warned by infectious disease experts that the flu was already spreading in their communities.

Philadelphia city officials ignored the warnings and moved forward with a massive parade that gathered hundreds of thousands of people resulting in a major loss of life beginning within 3 days of the event. This makes it easier to understand why this year, NYC’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade was canceled for the first time in its 253 year history.

St. Louis city officials meanwhile, quickly responded to the threat, closing schools, limiting travel, and encouraging social distancing. Due to this fast and decisive action, throughout the pandemic, St. Louis experienced just one-eighth of the casualties in Philadelphia.

We have established a new campaign – called STAY INFORMED:

At this time of recommended social isolation, here are some general tips to reduce your exposure:

  • Plan ahead and go food shopping not more than once a week.
  • While maintaining 6 feet of space between you and others, take a walk in nature. It’s good for your health to get out in the fresh air and being out in nature is known to reduce stress.

And here are some ways you can get help and give help:

Information on unemployment benefits can be found at:

To either make a donation, apply for assistance (through a 501 c3) or volunteer, check out the website:

Both volunteers and residents who need assistance can read more about the expanded “Adopt a Neighbor” program and sign up at:



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Blaine Howerton

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