COVID-19 downward trend makes community members hope the worst is behind us

Reporter: Taylor Petras Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Credit: WINK News.

Lee Health reports fewer new coronavirus patients by the day. It says there is plenty of personal protective equipment, ICU beds and ventilators.

Community members we spoke to Monday believe we’ve learned the tough lesson: Wearing masks and social distancing are a must to keep the virus down. They all hope the downward trend in the coronavirus cases reported by Florida Department of Health is a sign the worst of the pandemic is behind us all.

Costco mandated masks at its locations in May. When Gov. Ron DeSantis refused to order Floridians to wear masks, Walmart and Publix took action in July. Target completed the list of big box stores requiring masks Aug. 1.

“I think people are paying attention,” said Mel Reinhart in Cape Coral. “They’re wearing their masks and doing what they think is necessary, avoiding the crowds.”

Reinhart and his wife are crossing their fingers the downward trend we’re seeing continues.

“I hope we can get back to a normal life, whatever that is,” Reinhart said. “Going back to working out and going back to church when we want. Just doing everything we were doing.”

Florida has gone nine straight days with less than 5,000 new daily cases.

Corina Tiemeyer is among community members who are holding onto hope the worst of COVID-19 is behind us.

I volunteer at Hope Hospice and at HealthPark and at my church,” Tiemeyer said. “I had to give all of that up.”

With COPD, Tiemeyer is in a COVID-19 high-risk category. What she and so many others really long for is a change to what has become the norm.

“Taking the mask off, hugging my kids,” Mimi Thorne said. “Getting back to being with people.”

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