The first news article documenting the effects of Covid-19 in Putnam County to be published in the Breeze was on March 19, 2020. The article, titled “Covid-19 Infects Local Churches,” reported the canceling of Sunday services at more than 30 churches. That article was followed by others. There was not a single issue of the Breeze during the entire year following March 19 in 2020 which did not feature a Covid-19 front page story.
The publication frequency of Covid articles in the Breeze slowed in 2021. The first issue published in both 2021 and 2022, however, featured Covid headlines. In 2021, the headline was “Putnam Red on COVID Alert Map” and in 2022, it was “Putnam Covid Case Numbers Soar.”
In this, the first issue of 2023, it is time to look at Covid in the rear view mirror. Despite the closing of schools, Putnam’s active case number hit a high in early December of 2020 with more than one thousand reported. Schools reopened statewide in January of 2021. The active case number dropped in the first half of 2021, bounced up and down and then surged from 215 on December 23, 2021 to 501 on January 4, 2022. Active cases in Putnam dropped to just 42 on May 9, 2022. The 2022 calendar year ended with the DHHR reporting 50 active cases in the county.
During 2020, 56 Putnam deaths were attributed to Covid. The number of Covid deaths grew to 147 as 2021 ended. As of January 2, 2023, the county’s Covid death total was 209.
Putnam’s total cases of Covid-19 from the onset of the pandemic was 20,000 on January 1, 2023. More than half (10,700) of this total was reported in 2022. There is evidence that the current strains of Covid do not produce severe symptoms in individuals in good health — even in the elderly who enjoy good health.
It is time for healthy individuals to wave goodbye to Covid.