April 9, 2020 Moonshine Minutes
Happy Thursday everyone, and welcome to another Moonshine Minutes. I’m Alex Hoeft, news reporter with Moonshine Ink.
We recently reached out to Nevada County’s epidemiologist to better understand the novel coronavirus that caused a shelter-in-place order three weeks ago today, as well as numerous other changes to our daily lives.
Holly Whitaker, who has a bachelor of science in environmental toxicology and a master’s in epidemiology, shared her thoughts on the country’s handling of the pandemic, as well as her views on how California has played a role in quelling infection spread.
“California has … in many ways been leading the nation in social distancing measures to flatten the curve and stem the tide of the coronavirus. We were one of the first states to implement school closures [and] guidance for bars and pubs to close, as well as the directive for our senior population to stay at home. Ultimately, we were the first state to order all residents to stay home, except for essential services.”
Governor Gavin Newsom’s advice for residents to shelter in place was described by Whitaker as our best tool to protect one another from exposure and ultimately flatten the curve.
On the development of a vaccine, Whitaker talked a lot about the uncertainty of projections.
“While we know there are vaccines being developed for COVID-19, it’s hard to compare and confidently say when one may be ready for use. Initially, we heard numbers like 12-18 months until a COVID-19 vaccine would be ready for use, but also know that the vaccine for H1N1 was available in about 6 months.”
Ultimately, Whitaker told us she’s feeling optimistic over the community’s resilience to the pandemic.
“I am feeling proud in this moment to see my colleagues, my partners at the hospitals and at our non-profit organizations pooling resources and talent to meet this major challenge head on. I am encouraged to see how adaptive our community can be.”
Check out the full interview with Nevada County epidemiologist Holly Whitaker on our website at moonshineink.com/nevada-county-epidemiologist.
Now before I leave you, I want to extend an invitation to listeners to join Moonshine this morning at 9:30 on a Zoom conference call. We’ll be talking short-term rentals and visitors to our region during the COVID crisis, and really want to hear about community members’ experiences. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to participate.
That’s all for now — stay healthy out there, folks.