READING, Pa. - Nearly eight months after Berks County saw its first coronavirus case, and with the fall firmly upon us, cases have been slowly climbing.
"We've talked about COVID fatigue. All of us are tired of this," said Dr. Michael Baxter, a past president of the Berks County Medical Society. "All of us want it to go away. All of us want to get back to normal."
But, during a virtual meeting with the county commissioners and local doctors on Wednesday, many stressed stories as the best way to communicate the real impact of the virus over more numbers and data, finding a balance between a local student athlete whose dad shared a note to an elderly couple that have been afraid to leave their home for months for regular health checkups.
"86-year-old woman, 92-year-old gentlemen that live in Birdsboro, wonderful people," said Dr. Tom Kohl, Tower Health's chief of family practice. "This is one of the first times they've been out of their office, out of their house to come to my office."
COVID-19 continues to impact everyone, but it's what some call the "twin-demic" that has county leaders worried.
"The concern is not so much that COVID will spike to a level that we've never seen before, but it's the idea of COVID and flu occurring at the same time," said Commissioner Christian Leinbach.
We know all too well the now-cliched trifecta "mask, social distance, wash your hands," but doctors said those are the most effective forms of defense against the coronavirus. You can add flu shot to that list to face the months ahead.
"I think people are just ready for things to go back to normal," said Dr. Johanna Kelly, a pediatrician with Reading Pediatrics. "Unfortunately, this isn't the time to let our guard down. It's actually the time to tighten things up more."