I want to commend the people of Lassen County for their recent response to the COVID-19 pandemic. I have noticed a significant increase in compliance with mitigation measures (mask wearing in particular) recently, reflecting, I hope, an increased awareness that this disease is no joke, despite political and other differences we may have. There have been more than 900 new community cases in the month of December, and over the last few weeks Lassen County has had the highest case rate in California, and in the top 10 nationwide.
The longer the pandemic goes on, the worse the effect on our lives, particularly the impacts on the economy/businesses, the schools, and on the health care system. If we can continue to protect each other for a while longer, including mask wearing and avoiding risky gatherings, while the immunizations are rolling out, I think we can start to get back to some normalcy by the middle of 2021. I encourage everyone who has no contraindications to the vaccine to get it when offered — the vaccines have been rigorously developed by scientific methods, have proven to be safe and effective, and are our way out of this calamity.