Covid-19: IT’S REAL!

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.

 -Related Updates-

•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.)