Selectmen urge public to stay home

Mar 25, 2020

The Board of Selectmen urged the public to take the growing coronavirus pandemic seriously and practice social distancing at their Tuesday night meeting.

Chair Patrick Tropeano said that people should not be lulled into a false sense of security due to the relatively low fatality rate of 1.3 percent.

“There’s something on the order of 1.1 million hospital beds in the US. We have 60,000 ventilators. So we have 1.3 percent of 330 million people all get sick at the same time, then guess what, your bed’s going to be on the football field because there’s nowhere to put you,” Selectman Peter Teitelbaum said. “So what’s going to drive the death rate up then isn’t going to be the virus all by itself, it’s going to be the fact that you couldn’t get treatment for the virus because the medical people are going to be overwhelmed. And that’s when the death rate will, frankly, soar.”

Tropeano noted that that has been the case in Italy as hospitals have been completely overwhelmed.

“And that can happen here. So don’t be complacent and think that just because you’re in the good old US of A that it’s going to be any better here if you don’t do what you’re supposed to do than it was in Wuhan or Italy,” Teitelbaum said. 

The board urged people to stay home whenever possible and take steps like consolidating necessary shopping into one big trip rather than running a number of smaller errands.