Panic response to health scare unnecessary

Friday, March 13, 2020

Emergency management director says plans are ready

Reports around Cassville and surrounding communities on Friday documented panic shopping on Friday, spawned by concerns over the COVID-19 coronavirus.

David Compton, Barry County emergency management director, said the wild shopping sprees witnessed at local stores is unjustified in light of this specific health concern.

"Even if you were asked to isolate or ordered to quarantine for three weeks or less, that does not justify buying six months of supplies," Compton said. "Why do you need a case of toilet paper? How much do you go through in three weeks?"

Compton said he has coordinated responses with several different groups.

"Our message has always been people need to use common sense," he said. "Buy the regular supplies you would buy in a week. Panic buying doesn't do anything except keeping the next person from having what they need. I feel very confident that we will be able to address this emergency."

According to the latest statistics, Compton said 81 percent of people who contract the COVID-19 coronavirus will have mild to moderate symptoms. The 18 percent who develop severe symptoms are older and have chronic medical symptoms. Four percent of those people may die.

Actor Tom Hanks, he noted, who has the virus, is in Australia, where there are many cases, and has type 2 diabetes, making him one of the higher risk cases.

"We are encouraging people that if you feel you have symptoms, do not call 911," Compton said. "Do not go to urgent care. Generally, we recommend calling your primary care doctor, explain your symptoms and tell if you have traveled to a place where the virus is more common or been with people who had it. Tell your doctor's office if you've had exposure to when you arrive, and they can isolate you. We recommend you call your doctor or Telehealth provider. That may be a nice first step, coming from an isolated area. Telehealth is usually faster and cheaper. Tell them why you think you have an infection and get their advice.

ďIf you are in that 18 percent and have real severe trouble breathing, call 911 and say you suspect you have the virus.Ē

Compton said tests for the COVID-19 infection are available, but only by a doctor's request. He said staff will find a test kit if needed.

Compton and Bonnie Witt-Schulte, the Lawrence County emergency management director, met with Roger Brock, the Barry County Health Department administrator, two weeks ago to review the county's pandemic plan developed several years ago. Compton met with Brock again on Friday.

"I feel very comfortable with our pandemic plan," Compton said. "There are no cases in any county surrounding Barry County now. Our best move is to follow our plan."

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  • There is absolutely no need to buy 6 months worth of toilet paper for what could be at most 3 or 4 weeks of disruption. Come on, people.

    -- Posted by Ornery on Sat, Mar 14, 2020, at 2:28 PM
  • There were a couple of ladies in their fifties or sixties in Cassville Walmart Sunday night, buying formula in case they can't buy milk. Baby formula. Do these people really feel their lives are worth more than everyone else? Panic driven stupidity is no excuse, people.

    -- Posted by Ornery on Mon, Mar 16, 2020, at 3:09 AM
  • Dear Ornery, I am under the impression that you work at Cassville Walmart. To me you sound miserable. Although I agree most of the population is a complete panic mode and are going a little too far with shopping it just proves to me that people in general are not prepared for disaster and or emergency in general. In regards to the two women purchasing baby formula regardless of their age it makes complete sense to me seeing as how thereís no powdered milk within a 3 Hour drive of Barry county to be purchased.I feel that is a smart thing to have on hand with the nutritional content if it came down to that you were not those women you do not know if they will donate those items in the future to a food bank for some needy family why are you Accosting complete strangers for being prepared? If you are truly a concerned citizen and as I stated earlier a Walmart employee why donít you take your comments elsewhere perhaps to the Walmart corporate office and discuss to them your concerns of limiting items to sell for people and having things monitored that are leaving the store. There are tons of suggestions that could be made going to the corporate office of Walmart as far as Iím concerned not only to this media driven crisis, just in general. I hope you have a great day calm down and maybe get some paid downtime since apparently being in the public is just too much for you to deal with.Have a good day

    -- Posted by TrueRealist on Mon, Mar 16, 2020, at 9:57 AM
  • Final Thought - Maybe we should be Thinking of the purchase of baby formula from older citizens. Each can of those is approximately $20 now for the gallon of milk itís approximately $3. Seeing as how that is quite an extra profit generated from a purchase maybe we should be thanking people maybe we should be more appreciative that people are spending more as consumers and away perhaps offering them shopping carts when they enter the store or asking if they need help out instead of being more concerned with checking their receipts as they leave the building. On a lighter note I ran into a man at Dollar General who wanted to know why there were still candles and fabreeze remaining in the stores he said with all the toilet paper being sold you would think people would buy those out to

    -- Posted by TrueRealist on Mon, Mar 16, 2020, at 10:42 AM
  • Lol I don't work at Walmart, thanks. Have a nice day.

    -- Posted by Ornery on Mon, Mar 16, 2020, at 4:38 PM
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