by Staff Reporter
From the initial spread of disinformation that Black people could not get the coronavirus (C0VID-19), to the sobering reality that Blacks are indeed catching the virus and dying from it across the country– should be a wake up call for all of us.
The numbers continue to rise. As of March 31 there were 499 confirmed positive cases of the virus in Erie County and 8 coronavirus related deaths. The tragic passing of 44-year-old Louvenia “Lou Lou” Henderson last week; the hospitalization of one of the community’s most beloved and respected police officers; and news that Council President Darius Pridgen has tested positive for coronavirus brings it closer to home.
Council President Pridgen went public with his status to warn the community to follow safety guidelines and protect themselves. His son Craig is currently recovering at home after being hospitalzed for the virus as well. Pridgen announced on Facebook that he planned to share his experience with daily updates.
“The person who is coughing is not the biggest threat because you can tell,” said Pridgen. “It’s the one who is not coughing. It’s the one who is walking around. There are so many people out there who have it and don’t know it. This is the point. They look healthy, they look strong, but they don’t know.”
Council President Pridgen plans to lead the “virtual” council meetings on Tuesdays on the Common Council’s Facebook page.
What happens if he is unable to function in that capacity because of his illness?
According to the City charter, he will be temporarily replaced by the President Pro Tempore, who in that case would be South District representative Christopher Scanlon.
Council President Pridgen is also a Bishop and senior pastor at True Bethel Baptist Church.
•Gov. Andrew Cuomo has extended his order for all nonessential workers to stay home for another two weeks. The order, known as NY PAUSE, is now in effect until April 15. Many businesses will remain closed.
• As of this writing the CDC is considering recommending that people wear face coverings in public. But some infectious disease experts are already urging more people to wear surgical masks or even a scarf in public now.
• President Trump has extended the federal government’s guidelines for social distancing to last until April 30. He previously said that he hoped the country could go back to work and fill churches by Easter.
• As of Tuesday (March31) the death toll in Erie County was 10 and the number of COVID-19 cases in had grown to 533.
To date, persons in their 40s or younger make up more than half of the confirmed Covid-19 cases in Erie County according to the most recent reports; with people in their 30s, making up one in five cases.
•COVID-19 deaths in New York State has grown beyond 1,200. There have been 1,218 deaths in the state, up from 965 deaths as of midday Sunday, the governor said.
• As of Tuesday (March 31) More than 850,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed across the globe, including 188,530 confirmed cases (more than any other country) and 3,889 deaths in the US. (Healing prayers go out to Council President Pridgen pictured above.)