Dear South Carolina,
I did not grow up here, but I raised my daughters here while teaching your children for almost 25 years (so far). I know your children to be smart and kind. They are funny and friendly. They are just like you and you should be proud. I have loved them as my own while they struggled and succeeded in learning impossible science and math in my classes.
I could not help but notice: besides being smart and kind and funny and friendly, your children inherited your stubborn streak, your big hearts, and your inherent insistence that you will not be told anything by that (damn) yankee. Any yankee.
I’m a yankee and I love your home and call it my own.
You don’t want to hear this from me or anyone, but please try to hear me: it is here. The virus is here. The coronavirus is here. COVID-19 is here and spreading and will take your family members away forever while you shake your head and say, “No. It’s happening ‘there’ to ‘them.'”
Well, this is happening to us.
Seeing you without your masks breaks my heart. Why won’t you listen?
We have reached the 100th day of COVID-19 in our state. (Yes, she is mine too. I have lived here almost half my life.) By the end of today our state will reach 20,000 cases. Our per day rate will reach 1000 cases each day by the end of this month, and will continue to increase due to so many natives (and tourists on the coast) and others who ignore safety measures. For money, our citizens will die. This could be prevented. We know how to prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19 and you aren’t doing it, likely because you are too stubborn to listen and acknowledge the facts. Or maybe you aren’t concerned anymore and just hope it goes away. Or worse, you think it has gone away because for tourist dollars we have reopened.
I made a graph for you that shows the recent change in our state’s rate of spread. At the end of May, about a week after Memorial Day, on day 86, our rate took a turn upwards. Up until then, when we had just broken the 10,000 case mark, our next 100 day projection showed a tripling of cases to 30,000 by early September.
But with our unprotected reopening, we’ll now see at least a 7-fold increase to more than 70,000 cases by September.
And the spread will likely increase unchecked and be worse than that.
I cannot comprehend why so many of you are ignoring this. From one South Carolinian to my friends here, native or not: please take better care of yourselves and family and your wonderful children. Stay home. Wear masks. Stay separated. Be wary. Expect everyone you meet to be the potential person who will change your life, and respect everyone you contact by not giving them the virus you possibly carry. This is simple. It is not gone. This virus is real, it’s here, and it’s deadly.
Your child’s teacher
[Source of all data: our very own DHEC. https://www.scdhec.gov/infectious-diseases/viruses/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/sc-testing-data-projections-covid-19%5D
With more than 8 million cases worldwide, more than 2 million cases in the US, and with the world approaching half a million deaths, my focus on my state may seem trivial. But each community contributes to the whole. Let me update my weekly US tally with a graph that shows the predicted bounce is clearly underway. The 157,514 new US cases this week is the first increase in cases per week since May 5. It was predicted and expected by all. I am sorry that my home state of SC is a contributor.
(This graph is derived from data from Johns Hopkins database: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html. Don’t just take my word for it: always go to the source.)