Views expressed in letters to the editor do not represent opinions of The Gazette-Virginian or staff members.

To the editor:

So we now have 700 plus confirmed cases in our county of Halifax out of a population of roughly 35,000. That’s an infection rate of roughly one for every 50 people. 

I can’t tell you how many people I know that now have tested positive for COVID-19. Some are just fine. Some are dying. 

The COVID-19 virus has now entered an uncontrollable phase of spread in our area. The time is now. The time has come.

Everyone must start taking this virus seriously. It has failed to be a hoax. It has failed to disappear after Nov. 3. 

We are just days away from our local hospital being overwhelmed and over run, maybe just hours away. They are already exhausted and running on fumes. 

If we as a community do not band together as one to try and stop this spread, we will regret our collective ignorance. We will lose nurses. We will lose doctors. We will lose support staff. Have we not lost enough lives here already? 

I pray for the affected families. There is not a single member of our local healthcare providers or support staff that we can afford to lose. Not a single one. Not an X-ray tech. Not a single therapist. Not a single nurse practitioner. No one. Not one. There is not a single member of our community that is replaceable. 

For every single member of our community, their life is important. You are not replaceable. Forgive me. I repeat myself. You are not replaceable. 

So please. For the love of God, for the love of your fellow man, for the love of your neighbor, for your family, those of you who maybe haven’t taken this pandemic as seriously as you should, please do so now. 

To those of you that are fighting fatigue from fighting this virus, you are not alone. We all are fatigued. We have no choice but to continue the fight, and we have to fight smart. 

So to all, please wear a mask. Wash your hands frequently. Please maintain proper social distances. Please avoid large numbers of people in groups. 

Please if you have tested positive, isolate yourself and stay in quarantine until you have cleared the virus. Please if you have tested positive, stay away from others and reach out if you need help. Help will come. 

We all know this community is one of the best places in the country to live, if not the world. And when someone is in need in this community, help comes, always. 

I’m scared for our doctors, nurses, the support staff and the nursing home residents and staff. 

I’m frightened for all our community and for all with pre-existing conditions who may contract this virus. 

Forgive my fear Jesus. Peace, hope, faith and love be with you. 

Clayton Garmon