LOUISVILLE, Ky. — For the first time in two years, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Dr. Sarah Moyer, director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness, gave an in-person update on COVID-19.
“We have learned and continue learning how to live our lives with the virus,” Mayor Fischer said. “Good days are indeed ahead, but we cannot simply move on and forget all the loss our community has endured.”
As of Tuesday, over 2,200 people have died in Jefferson County because of COVID-19.
“Over 2,200 people in our community are still mourning the loss of life to this deadly virus. Sadly, sometimes we hear people use the word ‘only’ when they critique public health actions. ‘Only’ a percentage of people get seriously ill. ‘Only’ a percentage of people die,” the Mayor said. “There is no ‘only’ a percentage when it’s your mother, father, brother, sister or child who has been hospitalized or has died because of the virus.”
To honor those who have died, Fischer announced a Day of Remembrance will be held on Friday, March 18 - two years after the first COVID-19 death in Jefferson County.
Metro and City halls will be lighted green and so with the Big Four Bridge. City leaders are asking residents to turn on green lights at their homes and businesses and to wear green, a color that represents companssion. Fisher also asked everyone to observe a moment of silence at noon.
“Let’s honor those that we’ve lost. Let’s show solidarity with their families. Let’s always remember to add to our city’s reserve of resiliency,” he said. “And let’s remember so we never forget how we reached the day of the declining numbers we are seeing now.”
Another way to remember those lost is by reading or sharing stories to the WhoWeLost website. Martha Greenwald, a writer, created the website which has served as a therapeutic outlet for families and friends of those who died.
In a news release, Greenwald said, “While some feel it’s ‘back to normal’ and wonder why a project like this is even needed, I can tell you from all the people I speak to that, for many, normal no longer exists.”
When talking about the virus, Dr. Moyer said for the first time in two years, Jefferson County is in the green, meaning the COVID-19 community level is low. 1,055 new cases were reported over the previous week and there were 67 deaths. Right now, 70 patients are hospitalized and 12 of those are in intensive care units.
Moyer stressed everyone needs to be aware and considerate of those in the community who are high-risk for severe COVID-19 infection.
“Especially our senior community and those that are immunocompromised. We still need to do the work to protect everyone,” Dr. Moyer said. “The first recommendation is to be up-to-date on vaccinations. Testing is also still important. If you are high-risk, or someone you know is high-risk, it’s important to take extra precautions like getting tested before visiting and wearing a mask when around those people.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with grief, you can call the Seven Counties crisis line at 502-589-4313.