Covid-19 and vaccination update.
Vaccine rollout around the country has taken place at a much slower rate than originally expected. What does this mean, and why has that happened? The United States has administered more than 4.56 million vaccine doses, according to the CDC, lagging behind all of its original goals, and lagging behind the rate of vaccination per 100,000 of the population in so many other countries. The U.S. has, however, administered more gross doses of the vaccines than any other country, by far. There are multiple factors that need to be considered in order to get the vaccine to the people; there is the allocation, the shipping, distribution, and then administration of the shots.
Dr. Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Disease, believes momentum is expected to pick up in the first few weeks of January. Active Covid cases continue to surge upward in parts of the US, especially following the holidays. Looking closer to home, Wisconsin is reporting a steady increase of cases; totaling over half a million cases since the pandemic started. The daily new case total on Sunday, January 3rd was 2,593. Vaccine administration in Wisconsin, totaling just around 40,000, lags a bit behind some other states of the union, or the national rate as a whole. Healthcare workers were the first to be offered and received the vaccination, however, not all have been given the first dose yet and some are choosing to not get it at this time, which if this trend grows, could become a considerable problem. Nursing homes are also starting to receive the vaccinations, which are being administered on-site with the help of CVS and Walgreens pharmacies. Walworth County Covid incidence continues to be rising at a much more controllable rate than in other parts of the state, with active cases hovering under two hundred, and hospitalizations remaining in single digits. Masks are still needed in the meantime…vaccines are coming.
The first great snowstorm of the winter season.
Mother nature converted her thoughts to reality in 2020 and set a new scene for the very start of 2021. Tuesday evening, December 29th, a winter weather warning was issued, and the snow came down all night, burying Walworth County in approximately nine inches of snow. The Lake Geneva street department was out all night trying to keep up with the storm. Wednesday morning roads were still a mess, and much work was still needed. Many people forget that employees who work all night have to sleep sometime during the day after. Lake Geneva’s snow removal procedure has been under heavy discussion at many city meetings over the past couple of months.
The Business Improvement District brought the issue up at several BID meetings, as well, inviting Tom Earle (head of the street department) to the meetings. The issues raised at those meetings made their way to other city meetings, including a contentious fire and police commission meeting. The idea on everyone’s mind was to get a plan in place to better the existing snow removal process and to keep the downtown area open for business, which includes ingress, egress, and parking. Tom Earle made no changes to the snow removal procedure from the year before and went on vacation right before last week’s storm. Needless to say, the downtown had no parking available on Wednesday morning, with no plan of clearing the parking slots until late Wednesday night, and on into early Thursday morning, which was just in time for the New Year’s holiday to begin. New Year’s morning started with yet another round of winter weather, leaving everything covered once again in a few inches of snow, mixed with freezing sleet. The cleanup began again and continued into the night.
The street department, this time, focused more on the parking areas, but with the amount of snow the large piles of snow from the previous snowfall (randomly located around downtown), everything fell apart because the trucks to haul the snow away were being used to clear the more recent deposits. The downtown business district was not pleased with how things were handled. Spyro Condos, the president of the BID, and an advocate for the residents of Lake Geneva voiced his concerns about the issue and the lack of safety with local media, city officials, and went so far as to file a complaint against the street department.