In a Facebook post on Tuesday night, Paris Mayor Steve Clifford implored Paris residents to wear a mask to keep the economy going.
“Our community has gone through several phases in the COVID-19 pandemic. First, we saw sporadic isolated cases that were mostly travel related. Then, we had a massive outbreak in a local nursing home, which led to several deaths. After that, we experienced several weeks of gradually increasing numbers of community spread infections. With the reopening of many of our local churches and businesses, we have seen ever-increasing numbers of COVID in our community. It is now common to see ten or more new cases of COVID-19 every day. And for each person who tests positive, there are likely numerous other people who became infected with the virus, but we did not test. It is clear that we now have a rampant community spread of this virus.
The vast majority of people who are infected completely recover in a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, a small percentage of young people and a much more significant percentage of older people become very ill when they become infected, requiring hospitalization. We are now at a point where there is a genuine possibility of overwhelming our local hospital with COVID-19 patients. Governor Abbott has again ordered bars to close and has cut restaurants back to no more than 50% maximum capacity.
The people of Paris have mostly resumed their lives. Everyone wants things to get back to normal, but many do not practice social distancing and do not wash their hands frequently. And very, very few people wear masks. If we continue along our present course, the rate of community spread will continue to escalate. It may overwhelm our local hospital leading to unnecessary deaths. It may also cause the governor to issue even more restrictive orders that could permanently harm our local businesses and our economy.
All indications are that this virus predominantly spreads indoors where people congregate and breathe in the air that other people have exhaled. So how do we help prevent the spread of the virus? Wear masks anytime you are indoors and around other people who are not in your immediate family. Masks are not a sign of weakness. They show that you care about your fellow citizens’ health and care about the long-term health of your community. Also, keep at least six feet between you and any other person. And wash your hands frequently.
Please show everyone that you care about the health of your friends and acquaintances. Show everyone that you care about the health of your community. Show everyone that you are doing everything that you can to prevent Governor Abbott from issuing even more restrictive orders. Do this by wearing a mask whenever you are indoors and in the presence of others.”