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Time to apply the hammer: A local doctor's advice on fighting COVID-19
March 27, 2020

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RANSON -- At Two Rivers Treads, we have decided to do what we think is right for our community and to set an example of what we feel the entire country needs to do to flatten the curve (www.flattenthecurve.com).

So for the next two weeks, our in-store business will close, although we will continue to pay our employees' salaries.

Many states now have imposed a two-week order for all businesses to be closed and residents to stay home, for anything outside of essential movements and services. These measures have been effective in countries that have implemented this strategy early, like France and Spain. Countries such as Italy and, currently, our own, have not, and are feeling the pain.

For further research into this topic, I would recommend two excellent articles on the website Medium, "Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now Politicians, Community Leaders and Business Leaders: What Should You Do and When?" and "Coronavirus: The Hammer and the Dance."

The governors of New York, Illinois, California, Connecticut and Pennsylvania took this bold, but essential, step of applying the hammer last week, even though it was unpopular with many citizens. That unpopularity led our state government to be slow in adopting similar steps, until this week. On Tuesday night, our governor and state followed in the footsteps of these other states, after test results confirmed there were 20 COVID-19 cases in West Virginia, with more pending.

I am proud to be working for WVU Medicine as we work to catch up. We have a handful of ventilators in Jefferson County and many of them are used for the usual illnesses that come into our hospital. We have a little margin to scale up this level of support, if COVID-19 spikes here.

Those who are elderly and with metabolic illness, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and obesity, are the most vulnerable to severe illness. Unfortunately, the majority of our state's residents fit into this category.

This disease will not only risk the health of our state's residents, but will also affect the economic stability of the businesses in our state. Together, we need to get creative to continue supporting small business in these times. Two River Treads will be offering free order deliveries right to your doorstep. We ask, though, that these orders come from those who do not have any symptoms of illness and who have not recently traveled to a highly affected area. Deliveries will be made to those within a 20-mile radius. We will scale up our online store front, for those not in the local area or those wanting their shoes mailed and not delivered by us. We will offer free shipping, as well as curbside pick-up, for all online footwear orders during this time. We are happy to help and answer any questions you may have and to walk you through these new services. You can reach us at 304-885-8843, trtreads.gmail.com or www.tworivertreads.com.

We will apply all of the same hygiene and sanitation practices we have been doing in the store all week when it comes to online orders and product deliveries. Our employees will continue to be held to a high standard of hand washing and daily awareness of symptoms.

For our customers, we encourage them to fight the spread of the virus by getting outside and running with a group of one or two people, while keeping a six-foot distance from each other. Exercise helps build mental and physical health, so keep the outdoor activity going!

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