OSWEGO — Mayor William Barlow took to Facebook Live on Monday night, urging Oswegonians to renew their determination in light of COVID’s rising threat and warning them of state-mandated restrictions looming on the horizon if this city doesn’t correct its present COVID trajectory.
With recent data moving in an unfavorable direction, Barlow emphasized that “if we keep going in the direction we’re going, more restrictions will be on the way.”
He acknowledged what he called COVID pandemic fatigue leading to some reckless, negligent behavior, which he said has to stop.
“I think the primary cause is people getting fatigued and people letting their guard down,” Barlow said. “I think we all know what the proper reaction and the proper behavior and protocols are, and we need to get back to doing that so we can flatten that spike.”
But knowing what proper COVID-prevention behavior is and observing it are two different things, and many in this deeply divided country reject those behaviors as part of the COVID “hoax.” Realizing this, Barlow laid out reasons to follow those behaviors anyway.
“My plea this evening,” the mayor said, “is to have everyone for a moment put aside their opinions and their theories. If you want to put aside your political affiliation and your philosophical opinion as it relates to the virus, that’d be great too, and just do the right thing, like wearing a mask and like social distancing. We know the rules. And you should want to do that for your own health, to protect yourself. And if you don’t want to do it to protect yourself, and if you don’t want to do it to protect your own health, then you should want to do it for others. You should want to do it for the immune-compromised. And you should want to do it for senior citizens, the elderly. You should want to do it for first responders and those who work in the healthcare industry, who are working tirelessly to help control the spread. You should want to do it for the vulnerable population in your own community. And if you don’t care what happens to you, or you think the rules don’t apply and you don’t have to worry about this, then do it for others, and let’s take care of each other. Or, if you don’t want to do it for yourself, and you don’t want to do it for others, then, you should at least do it to protect our local economy and avoid another shutdown, avoid another lockdown like we experienced earlier this year. You should do it to try to avoid more restrictions like were just put in place (by the state, in other counties) last week. And the reason that’s so important is because there are actually criteria set up that can place areas as specific as the city of Oswego, or even neighborhoods, into zones where economic restrictions are put in place. And if we want to avoid these restrictions, and the same type of restrictions that we saw and that outraged so many people last week, the way to do that is to do the proper behavior and conduct the proper protocols that we all know by now to avoid being placed in these zones, which, to be frank, if our data continues going in the direction it’s going, we will be placed.”
Barlow reiterated again and again his certainty Oswegonians know what to do, but just in case, he outlined and reminded all of what constitutes proper COVID behavior.
“The main point tonight,” he said, “is to remind you to get back to basics to avoid shutdowns and to look out for each other. Getting back to basics means no non-essential gatherings, you should avoid groups of people, limit trips to large retail shops, consolidate your shopping trips. A nice alternative to walking into Walmart or other large retail shops is to shop local at smaller businesses here in Oswego. We’ve found that the smaller businesses, locally-owned businesses, are actually doing a better job enforcing the mask mandate. They’re doing a better job offering hand sanitizer at checkouts and drug stores. Social distancing is easier at these local shops because there aren’t as many people in a small area. So, support local businesses. That’s one way to protect yourself and help support our economy as we navigate this difficult situation.”
He ended the evening with simple, helpful truths.
“The amount of activity you do,” he said, “increases your exposure. If you want limited possibility of exposure, stay home. Only go out when you absolutely have to.
“If you’re experiencing symptoms, get tested. It’s a quick test, relatively painless and easy to do. If you’re feeling these symptoms, better safe than sorry. Get tested.”
Finally, he asked each and every Oswegonian “do your small part to turn it around. Do it,” he said, “for the good of this community.”