Health care workers have differing opinions on reopening, but agree social distancing is still key

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Social distancing: Credit: David Fulmer / CC BY 2.0 via MGN

Politicians, business leaders and even our neighbors are sharing their thoughts on reopening parts of the community. What about those working on the front lines, like healthcare workers?

Dr. Larry Hobbs is an emergency department doctor at Gulf Coast Medical Center. He said Southwest Florida is at a crossroads when it comes to combating the coronavirus, “In Lee County, we are probably seeing fewer patients than we have seen in past weeks. It doesn’t mean we’re not going to see another surge tomorrow. It’s hard to predict.”

But local leaders are using the dip in cases as an opportunity to reopen parts of the community, like parks.

And despite all of the unknowns, Hobbs is on board, adding, “Opening up a park or opening up a beach at this time, and getting people to get outside and get the vitamin D they need from the sun is something we probably should be doing right away.”

But not all health care workers agree.

Gail Bruno is a certified nursing assistant in a Fort Myers nursing home. She fears it’s too early to relax restrictions, “I don’t think now is the time. We need to see where this goes.”

Bruno said she won’t feel comfortable moving around again until there’s a vaccine, and that’s likely a year or more away.

However, Hobbs does believe that until that vaccine is here, we should continue to avoid large gatherings.

But for now, to keep moving forward safely, Hobbs says social distancing is just the start, “If you’re sick, wear a mask. That’s the safest thing for all of us. And it’s a personal responsibility that’s important to make this work – and everybody has to have that mindset.”

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