Clarifying comments headlined in The News

I would like to clarify my comments as headlined in The Alpena News.

I think that as presented in the paper and without clarification my comment to “suck it up” could easily be taken as uncaring and callous. This was and is not my intent to shame or belittle anyone as we all respond to the pandemic. To clarify my message I believe that all of us have been impacted by this virus — many of us have now had friends and family fall ill and some of us have endured tragic loss, and all of us have been impacted in one way or another. I also know that we are all tired, stressed, and live with a sense of loss — loss of loved ones, loss of companionship, or loss of many of our everyday interactions that bring us joy.

Unfortunately the virus has no feelings, and the surge in cases in our region — by far the highest case rates we have suffered since the pandemic began — has stressed our hospital and health care capacity and led to cases and deaths in our most vulnerable populations.

The activities that drive transmission of this, and many other respiratory viruses, are ones that bring us close together for prolonged periods: gatherings both large and small, especially indoors and involving eating and drinking, and talking and singing without a mask.

It is for these reasons that we must realize that as unwelcome as it is, the reality is that all of us must take steps now to help stem the tide.

I wish everyone peace on this very different Holiday season.



Medical director,

District Health

Department No. 4


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