Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
From the Office of CITY OF MASON – JOHN PALACIO
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) have been closely working together with numerous state health agencies to provide the public with educational materials on how to stay safe with regard to COVID-19.
At this time, there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, however, there are precautionary measure that will help to minimize or even avoid the contraction of the coronavirus:
· Frequently wash hands with soap for a duration of at least 20 seconds;
· Cover mouth with a clean tissue or inside of elbow when coughing or sneezing;
· Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
· Stay home if flu-like symptoms are present, as well as, drink plenty of fluids;
· Visit local clinic as necessary.
For more information about the prevention and treatment programs, please visit the Center of Disease Control website – www.cdc.gov – or the Texas Department of State Health Services website – www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus .
It is critical that we AVOID panic! Please continue to check this website for local updates, should there be a need for Mason County and City of Mason to take further action.
CITY CORNER by Mayor Brent Hinckley
It seems that COVID-19 has risen up to again haunt our state, and with the increasing confirmed cases throughout Texas this pandemic continues to challenge our lives. Locally we are still not seeing the rapid expansion of the disease, but with the new case numbers in our region it is likely only a matter of time before we will have more cases in our own backyard. No one is happy that many Fourth of July celebrations and all of the Round-Up activities have been cancelled, as well as the tennis tournament the following weekend, but I believe most of us understand that with the current situation cancellations are probably the best and wisest course. In addition, the negative news that faces us everyday is beginning to impact our lives and create its own feelings of depression in our lives and our community, and no one likes that or thinks that it is consistent with our own piece of paradise in the Texas Hill Country. Mason is special, and when this pandemic recedes and we begin to find our new normal, then we will be able to proudly boast that this is the very best hometown anywhere.
In the present time I think that it is important to re-emphasize the importance of safe and healthy practices to avoid the COVID illness. I can speak from experience that it can be a significant illness, and even without the kind of symptoms that put you into the hospital it was two weeks of being seriously sick and for me it has been several weeks of continued fatigue and tiredness that is just now receding. I continue to wear a mask in public, and I would strongly encourage you to also follow this habit. It is not always comfortable, and I am not suggesting that it is any kind of political statement, but I truly love and enjoy our community and the many individuals who make it a wonderful place to live. I would be very sad if some of you were to suffer this disease because I or one of our other neighbors did not take the effort to wear a mask. It is also important to wash hands and keep a reasonable social distance as you visit with friends and neighbors, but I strongly encourage everyone to consider wearing a mask as a visible sign of your care and concern for each other.
Another way to slow the spread of this COVID disease is for our business community to require employees and customers to wear a mask while on your premises. Certainly there are limitations when a customer is eating or drinking and there will be other situations that might require your reasonable judgement, but the Community Thrift Store has followed this procedure since reopening and seen very little problem in keeping their staff and shoppers safe. If we all do this now, and if each citizen will wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when out in public, we will be doing all we can to protect our neighbors and our community in this difficult time. While some people believe that we have all overreacted to this virus and this is the wrong strategy, I hope you will cooperate and extend “an ounce of prevention” to protect others, even when your heart is not in it. We each have our own rights to choose, but we also have responsibility to our community to be wise and protective of the lives and health of those around us.
On another subject, the City projects continue to move forward, with digging and dirt moving fully underway at the new landfill. We will be making decisions and contracting for some of the work on the Water Treatment system at our July 20th meeting, and the regular day to day operations are keeping our crews busy every week. One further note, the City offices and all operations will be closed on Friday in celebration of July 4th, but we will be back to full operations on next Monday. Also, we are continuing to have phone calls, and I understand there is a bit of “chatter” on Facebook, regarding the Old Yeller statue at the Library. I can not speak to each of the concerned people that are worried that we might remove that statue for some ridiculous reason, but the fact is that it has never been discussed, is not likely to ever be discussed, and there is no reasonable thought that our town is so lost in the current unstable whirlwind of opinions that we would ever consider such nonsense. If you are aware of any such concerns, please suggest that this is truly “fake news” and we all need to step back and realize just how foolish some of the rumors that circulate can be. As I have said before, Mason is a great hometown (and that is no rumor) and our community is stronger and wiser because of our heritage, and we are each ready to reach out to a future that will be better because of the way we meet the challenges of the present.