Letters to the Editor: Covid mitigation at Rec & Parks; Sept. 11 and Jan. 6; Fall in Maryland's outdoors; and Reasons for ceasing elective surgeries

Posted 9/21/21

The following is an open letter from Dorchester County Recreation & Parks Director Mike Diaz to the Dorchester County Council.

COVID Mitigation Strategy for Recreation & ParksDorchester …

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Letters to the Editor: Covid mitigation at Rec & Parks; Sept. 11 and Jan. 6; Fall in Maryland's outdoors; and Reasons for ceasing elective surgeries

Posted

The following is an open letter from Dorchester County Recreation & Parks Director Mike Diaz to the Dorchester County Council.

COVID Mitigation Strategy for Recreation & Parks
Dorchester County Public Schools current policy is to send students who may have been exposed home for testing, while the child is awaiting to test, waiting for results they should not be permitted to participate in Recreational & Parks sporting activities. Although we want to provide the best opportunities for children and families, we don’t want to place children and families in a position that results in more cases and more children to be sent home.

We would like to communicate the following message to all of our coaches and families as soon as possible.
Dorchester County Recreation & Parks families, if you or your child has been potentially exposed to someone who is or presumed to be positive for the COVID-19 virus, please keep your child home from all Recreation & Parks practices, games and/or recreation center activities, this includes soccer, football, cheerleading and/or any lessons provided by Recreation & Parks.

• If your child has been sent home from school and asked to quarantine
• Is experience COVID-like symptoms
• Is awaiting results from a COVID test
• Is a contact to a positive COVID case.
It’s important for us and your children to have a successful and healthy athletic season it is important for you to notify your coach and/or the Recreation & Parks director if any of the above pertains to your player.
Recreation & Parks Dir. Mike Diaz
Cambridge

9/11/2001 and 1/6/2021 terrorist attacks
The only difference between the al Qaeda terrorists attacks on our Capitol on 9/11 and the MAGA terrorists insurrection on 1/6 of this year is that the al Qaeda effort failed thanks to the courageous heroes on United Flight 93 while the frothing-at-the-mouth savage attacks by Trump’s right-wing cultists was more successful.

Both attacks were carried out by terrorists who wanted to severely damage or destroy our Constitutional democratic republic by attacking our seat of government and kill our democratically elected officials. Do not think for a second that the Trump insurrectionists are any better than the ad Qaeda terrorists just because they call themselves “Americans.”
They are as un-American as anyone can get, seeking to undermine our democratic elections and install an autocratic dictator wannabe who lost our free and fair election in 2020 by 7 million votes.

Republicans defend these insurrectionists. Now they are supporting another mob demonstration by MAGA terrorists and their sympathizers on Sept. 18, and trying everything they can to subvert and block an investigation into the 1/6 attack because it will reveal their complicity.
Republicans must be defeated in upcoming elections to preserve our great country and Constitution.
Mike Brown
Neck District

Sec. Haddaway-Riccio: Md.’s cool transition to fall
One of Maryland’s favorite summer pastimes is visiting the Maryland State Fair. Now in its 140th year, DNR was pleased to participate again this year and showcase the many ways we work to preserve, protect, and enhance our state’s natural resources. It was also a great opportunity to reach younger audiences with Smokey Bear and Splash who shared information about the importance of wildfire prevention and boater safety. Another highlight of the Fair was Governor Larry Hogan joining us to celebrate the 125th anniversary of our Maryland Geological Survey. For 125 years the Survey has served as a scientific-investigative organization that investigates the geologic and water resources of Maryland. They are also responsible for geologic, topographic, and geophysical mapping, environmental geology, mineral resources, and coastal and estuarine geology.
While the State Fair ended on Labor Day, and some traditionally view that as the end of summer, there are plenty of fair weather days left to enjoy outdoor recreation in Maryland which is year round!

For example, September 25 is the annual National Public Lands Day, which is a great time to explore our public lands. Many locations will be holding special events and hosting volunteer opportunities to help maintain our natural spaces for all to enjoy. Please check our website and calendar for events near you.
Hunting is another strong outdoor recreation tradition in Maryland that also plays a vital role in managing wildlife. Many hunting activities start this month and continue through winter. Our state offers a variety of unique and world-class opportunities for hunters, trappers, and other wildlife enthusiasts.
And later this fall, we are proud to be hosting an internationally-renowned equestrian event at the Special Event Zone within Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area. Tickets are now available for the 2021 Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill, which will be held from October 14-17. The event’s prestigious 5 Star (CCI5*) designation is the pinnacle of the Olympic sport of Eventing, often described as an equestrian triathlon.

Last but not least, if you are like me and enjoy watching the seasons change, I encourage you to sign up for the Maryland Fall Foliage Report. Thanks to the contributions of our rangers, foresters, and naturalists, our subscribers can find fun and engaging information on the peak places to view the changing colors of this spectacular season.
There is always more to do in Maryland’s outdoors, and I encourage you to find a natural place for your favorite activity this fall.
Hunting is another strong outdoor recreation tradition in Maryland that also plays a vital role in managing wildlife. Many hunting activities start this month and continue through winter. Our state offers a variety of unique and world-class opportunities for hunters, trappers, and other wildlife enthusiasts.

And later this fall, we are proud to be hosting an internationally-renowned equestrian event at the Special Event Zone within Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area. Tickets are now available for the 2021 Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill, which will be held from October 14-17. The event’s prestigious 5 Star (CCI5*) designation is the pinnacle of the Olympic sport of Eventing, often described as an equestrian triathlon.
Last but not least, if you are like me and enjoy watching the seasons change, I encourage you to sign up for the Maryland Fall Foliage Report. Thanks to the contributions of our rangers, foresters, and naturalists, our subscribers can find fun and engaging information on the best places to view the changing colors of this spectacular season.
Whether it is hiking, fishing, hunting, equestrian activities, or just enjoying Maryland’s scenic vistas, there are many great ways to enjoy Maryland’s outdoors year-round. I hope to see you in your favorite outdoor setting enjoying your favorite fall activity soon!

Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio
Annapolis
Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio is Secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Why we halted elective surgeries

The Lower Delmarva Peninsula, like much of the broader region, is in the midst of the Covid-19 Delta variant surge.
TidalHealth Peninsula Regional has made the difficult decision to pause elective surgeries requiring an overnight stay. Taking effect Monday, Sept. 13, the pause will be for at least two weeks.
This pause became necessary because of underlying hospital capacity limitations.
The pause in those elective surgeries is being implemented at both TidalHealth Peninsula Regional and TidalHealth Nanticoke in Seaford.
These limitations will be continuously reviewed so that the suspension can be lifted as soon as it is safe to do so.
Several factors have combined recently to put stress on hospital staffing levels and hospital bed capacity.

In addition to the Delta surge, we — and hospitals around the country — are experiencing a severe shortage of nurses. Many nurses across the country
have decided to leave the profession over the past several months for a variety of reasons.
While TidalHealth is taking action to support adequate nursing levels today, it is also working with our local nursing schools to increase the supply of newly trained nurses for the future.
Patients who are ill with Covid are contributing to the significant demand on the limited resources of the Emergency Department, hospital floors and the Intensive Care Unit.
The vast majority of patients who are getting sick enough with Covid to require hospitalization are unvaccinated.

The subject of Covid vaccination has unfortunately become politicized.

There are some indisputable truths, however, based on available community data and on current medical science: The vaccine is safe. Hundreds of millions of doses have been delivered worldwide and while there are relatively small numbers of adverse reactions (as there are to any vaccine), it is safe.
Wicomico County is only 45 percent vaccinated, Worcester County is 66 percent and Sussex County is at 56 percent.
The reasons for such low vaccination rates are many and include widespread misinformation and many concerns that are not supported by the available data.
What clearly is happening, however, is that unvaccinated people are getting Covid at an unprecedented rate; they are getting sick and are requiring hospitalization.
This preventable stress on our already-stressed system contributes to delays in care across the board.

These delays affect those presenting to the Emergency Room for a variety of non-Covid emergencies.
They also now include delays for our friends and neighbors who need surgery for a variety of reasons.
There are many times that our hospital needs to face challenges on its own with our talented and incredibly dedicated medical and nursing staff.
For this current challenge, however, there is actually something community members can do.
If you are not vaccinated, please get vaccinated.
If you are vaccinated, please encourage an unvaccinated member of the family, friend or neighbor to get vaccinated.
It is absolutely the most community- minded thing anyone can do right now.

And, it will ensure our hospitals are fully ready to care for every medical need without unnecessary pressure on our resources.
Dr. Steve Leonard
Dr. Mark Edney
Dr. Steve Leonard is President and CEO of TidalHealth. Dr. Mark T. Edney is President of the Tidal-Health Peninsula Regional Medical Staff.