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News of Otsego County

COVID-19

Irma A. Ouimet; Oneonta, Unatego Teacher Claimed By COVID-19

IN MEMORIAM: Irma Ouimet; Oneonta,

Unatego Teacher Claimed By COVID-19

Irma A. Ouimet

OTEGO – Irma A. Ouimet of Otego, a native of Peru and Unatego Central School District teacher, passed away Feb. 23, 2021, in the ICU at Bassett Hospital from complications related to COVID-19.

Irma Alejandrina Villegas Ormachea was born in Calca (Cusco), Peru, and became a teacher serving young children in the mountains of Peru.  Irma came to live in the U.S. upon her marriage to her husband Gene Ouimet in 1984.

THIS WEEK — February 25, 2021
Statistics Miss Victim’s Stories – Like Thom Parrotti’s

In COVID’s Grasp

Statistics Miss Victim’s Stories – Like Thom Parrotti’s

By MICHAEL FORSTER ROTHBART • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Thom Parrotti’s mass card

Alicia Chase wants you to know about her best friend, a man she calls her “work husband” after the years they spent employed together at Bassett Hospital.

Thomas Parrotti worked as an interpreter and manager at the hospital for nearly 20 years. One month ago, he was enjoying semi-retirement, raising goats with his husband Brett Miller on their small farm in Hamden – 38 acres of hilltop woods and pasture.

Parrotti ran his own interpreting business and judged dog competitions until COVID put a hold on both. Lately he’d been employed part-time as a coronavirus contact tracer for the state of New York.

This month he returned to Bassett – as a patient critically ill from COVID-19.

Thom Parrotti spent January as many of us did, working from home, watching the news, commenting about it on Facebook. “Stop being Democratic or Republican. Be honest, have
morals, show empathy, value, integrity. Be a GOOD HUMAN,” he posted on Jan. 21.

NORTHRUP: Get Jabbed – Or Get Lost
LETTER from CHIP NORTHRUP

Get Jabbed – Or Get Lost

To the Editor:

Got my second C-19 vax the other day at a public center. Only fainted once this time.

No wait, no line, plenty of technicians and vax. All paid for by the government. Ain’t socialized medicine grand?

We are truly blessed to have these vaccines available to us. So where was the crowd? Where were the lines? Why are so many people still refusing to get vaccinated?

Since vaccinating the majority of the population could effectively wipe out the plague, why not tie getting government paychecks and subsidies to vaccinations? Air travel?

If you refuse to do your civic duty and get vaccinated on religious, political or conspiratorial grounds, that is your prerogative.

But you forfeit your ability to get a government paycheck or get on a plane.

You won’t be able to fly to Mexico. You won’t be able to leave your poodle at home to freeze. But that will be the price you pay for refusing to do your civic duty.

It’s up to you. Get jabbed or get lost.

CHIP NORTHRUP
Cooperstown

With Seward, Bassett Reclaims Some Of County’s Ebbing Clout
EDITORIAL

With Seward, Bassett Reclaims

Some Of County’s Ebbing Clout

Bill Streck (blue tie) and Jim Seward (red tie) learned what levers to push in Albany over three decades.

Someone was remarking the other day that, over almost four decades, Otsego County had two key players that could be called upon in any crisis.

One, Bill Streck, Bassett Healthcare Network president/CEO since 1984, who spent years developing contacts in Albany. A Democrat, he was a go-to guy around here, someone who could call the Governor’s Office and expect an answer.

Two, state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, who served in Albany from 1986 until this past Dec. 31, rising to leadership and maintaining it until the Senate shifted to the Democrats. Even then, he – like Streck – knew where the levers of power were and how to push them.

In the past year Streck, 74, and Seward, 69, both retired. In tackling the largest crisis in a century, which arguably the COVID-19 pandemic is, their departures left a void.

County Still Awaits Vaccine
Herzig, Bliss Frustrated

County Still Awaits Vaccine

By CHRYSTAL SAVAGE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

For now, Otsego County is not getting the COVID-19 vaccines it should, according to Mayor Gary Herzig and county board Chairman David Bliss.

Both men represent the county on the Mohawk Valley Regional Control Room, which briefs local officials weekly on the state’s COVID-19 response.

The county’s not getting “proportionate distribution,” the amount based on its relative population to the rest of the state, Herzig said in an interview.

“It’s frustrating and worse than we thought,” Bliss said. “Things are really starting to unravel.”

The local situation reflects what’s happening in the Mohawk Valley Region, which – one of 13 districts in the states – is only getting 2 percent of three million vaccines available statewide, Herzig said.

According to Dr. Diane Georgeson, the City of Oneonta’s public health officer, that’s because, for now, “distribution is not based on regional population, but rather by the regional eligible population at this time.”

Not only is it getting less vaccine, the region has only administered 76 percent of the vaccine allocated, the lowest of the 13 regions, she continued.

“Appointments are filling up within Otsego County as soon as they’re available,” Georgeson said, so there is demand.

HANSE: Underunding Led To Nursing-Home Crisis
LETTER from STEPHEN HANSE

Underunding Led To

Nursing-Home Crisis

Stephen Hanse is
president/CEO of the state Health Facilities Association and the State Center for Assisted Living.

When it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing is consistent – politicians are placing blame for the effects of the virus at the feet of other politicians, policymakers and providers, but nobody is focusing blame for the consequences of the virus where it truly belongs, with:

• The virus itself

• The state’s “hospital-centric” approach to combatting the virus and

• Historic underfunding of long-term care.

At the onset of the pandemic, the State of New York failed to immediately focus fully on the needs of nursing homes, and instead implemented a “hospital-centric” approach that led to limited access to testing, extensive staffing and PPE shortages in nursing homes.

The COVID-19 virus first appeared in the United States at a nursing home in Washington State, with devastating consequences. New York disregarded this fact and implemented a “hospital-centric” approach to combatting the virus, instead of looking at the people who were most susceptible to the COVID-19 virus – namely nursing-home residents.

New York’s “hospital-centric” approach focused the state’s limited resources on hospital-based solutions such as the Javits Center and the USS Comfort, that ultimately proved to be ill-advised, while nursing homes throughout New York State were left scrambling to safeguard their residents and staff.

Almost 80 percent of New York State’s nursing home resident care is paid for by Medicaid. The state has cut Medicaid reimbursement to nursing homes for over 12 years in a row – creating a reimbursement void that was only exacerbated by the state’s primary focus on hospitals through-out the pandemic!

The statewide average cost of providing around-the-clock nursing home care is $266. However, the statewide average Medicaid reimbursement for 24-hour care is $211, resulting in nursing homes being reimbursed $8.79 per hour to care for our most vulnerable! Most folks pay their babysitter more than $8.79 per hour!

Policymakers and legislators must stop the blame game, work in partnership with nursing home providers and view long-term care as an investment not an expense. Nursing homes are highly regulated providers that are essential in ensuring critical care to the State’s most vulnerable residents.

TV-Only Induction ’21 Met With Acceptance

TV-Only Induction ’21

Met With Acceptance

COVID Ends Jeter-Fueled Expectations

By MICHAEL FORSTER ROTHBART • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Derek Jeter

Call it COVID fatigue.

Shocking as it may have been at another time, the Baseball Hall of Fame’s announcement last week that this year’s July 25 Induction Ceremony will be broadcast on TV by the MLB Network, that’s it, has been largely accepted in Baseball Town.

What was expected to be record-breaking crowds cheering superstar Derek Jeter on the Clark Sports Center fields into the Hall of Plaques has turned into a so-far unspecified number of people in an unspecified venue.

The word of the week is “disappointed,” sometimes followed by a “but.”

“While the village is disappointed,” said Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch, “I think the Hall of Fame made a wise – and probably the only – decision they could make.”

“To say it’s disappointing is an understatement,” added Jeff Katz, Friends of Doubleday president (and former mayor), “but not a surprise. I’d be surprised if anybody was shocked.”

STERNBERG: Vaccine? Terrific. But What About Treatment
LETTER from RICHARD STERNBERG

Vaccine? Terrific. But

What About Treatment

erna
Richard Sternberg, retired Bassett Hospital orthopedic surgeon, is providing his professional perspective weekly during the COVID-19
threat. A village trustee,
he resides in Cooperstown.

I was asked to give a talk at the Center for Continuing Adult Learning recently in Oneonta. It was supposed to be on vaccine development and distribution, but two days before I was to give it, I was asked by a participant to address treatment of active COVID-19.

Up to this point I have avoided discussing this because each physician chooses treatment for each patient based on many factors, including recommended protocols, approved medications, and most important, consideration of each patient as an individual.

Nonetheless there is some general advice from the NIH (National Institute of Health).

The NIH divides severity levels for COVID-19 into five parts with their recommendations.

►ONE: Not hospitalized, mild to moderate COVID-19.

There is insufficient evidence to recommend for or against any specific antiviral or antibody therapy.

SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies are available for outpatients who are at high risk of disease progression.

Antibodies bind to the virus, block its ability to get into a cell, and trigger a response from white blood cells to come and attack the virus.

Antibodies could be natural or manufactured. Dexamethasone is a steroid anti-inflammatory which is approved in more severe stages and should not be used here.

►TWO: Hospitalized but does not require supplemental oxygen.

Dexamethasone should not be used. There are insufficient data to recommend for or against the routine use of Remdesivir. (Remdesivir is a drug specifically to treat viral diseases). For patients at high risk for disease progression, the use of Remdesivir may be appropriate. (Yes, I too find this statement very confusing.)

►THREE: Hospitalized and requires supplemental oxygen, but does not require high-flow oxygenation, mechanical ventilation, or an ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenator – sort of like a heart/lung machine used in open heart surgery).

Use one of the following three options: Remdesivir for patients who require minimal oxygenation, Dexamethasone and Remdesivir for patients who require increasing amounts of supplemental oxygenation, or Dexamethasone alone when combination therapy cannot be used or if remdesivir is not available.

►FOUR: Hospitalized and requires oxygen through a high-flow device or non-invasive ventilation. Use one of the following options; dexamethasone or dexamethasone and remdesivir.

►FIVE: Hospitalized and require mechanical ventilation or ECMO. Use dexamethasone.

There are other drugs that have been considered for use in COVID-19.

One is Invermectin. Others are monoclonal (all one type) antibodies as described above. Another drug fluvoxamine (Fluvox) is a drug used for obsessive-convulsive disorder and was hypothesized to block excessive inflammatory reactions.

Bottom line if sick is, find a physician who you trust. A good physician will listen to a patient’s concerns and questions and then when you are comfortable with them, your best shot is to follow their instructions.

Appointments Available Now: BU and SUNY Poly

COVID VACCINATION CENTRAL

Appointments Available

Now: BU and SUNY Poly

Click Here For ‘Am I Eligible’ App

Editor’s Note:  www.AllOTSEGO.com will seek to keep you up to date on the availability of vaccinations against COVID-19.  We will strive to update our information at noon daily.

As of noon today, there are now four  New York State special sites still accepting appointments in Potsdam, Syracuse, Johnson City and Utica.

According to the NYS website, “The Federal Government determines how much vaccine New York State receives and has given New York approximately 250,000 vaccines per week for over 7 million people who are eligible – as a result, supply is very limited.

Vaccines are available at pharmacies, hospitals and through local health departments – please contact the provider of your choice to schedule a vaccine appointment.”

Appointments Available: Syracuse Special State Site

COVID VACCINATION CENTRAL

Appointments Available:

Syracuse Special State Site

Click Here For ‘Am I Eligible’ App

Editor’s Note:  www.AllOTSEGO.com will seek to keep you up to date on the availability of vaccinations against COVID-19.  We will strive to update our information at noon daily.

As of noon today, the only two  New York State special sites still accepting appointments from citizens 65 and over is in Potsdam and Syracuse.

According to the NYS website, “The Federal Government determines how much vaccine New York State receives and has given New York approximately 250,000 vaccines per week for over 7 million people who are eligible – as a result, supply is very limited.

Vaccines are available at pharmacies, hospitals and through local health departments – please contact the provider of your choice to schedule a vaccine appointment.”

Federal Program: C-19 Vaccine Distribution Expands As Of Today

COVID VACCINATION CENTRAL

U.S Expands C-19

Vaccine As Of Today

Click Here For ‘Am I Eligible’ App

Editor’s Note:  www.AllOTSEGO.com will seek to keep you up to date on the availability of vaccinations against COVID-19.  We will strive to update our information at noon daily.

As of noon today, the only New York State special site still accepting appointments from citizens 65 and over is in Potsdam.

According to the NYS website, “The Federal Government determines how much vaccine New York State receives and has given New York approximately 250,000 vaccines per week for over 7 million people who are eligible – as a result, supply is very limited.

Vaccines are available at pharmacies, hospitals and through local health departments – please contact the provider of your choice to schedule a vaccine appointment.”

January Deaths Greatest So Far

97 ILL, 12 DEAD AT FOX NURSING HOME

January Deaths

Greatest So Far

State Data Lags, Bond Says

From otsegocovid.com

By MIKE FORSTER ROTHBART • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

COOPERSTOWN – Deaths from COVID-19 rose sharply in Otsego County in January, following about a week behind a peak in active coronavirus cases.

Bond reports numbers at recent county board meeting.

Sixteen Otsego County residents died from coronavirus-related causes in January and 10 to date in February, the county health department confirmed today. There were 19 COVID fatalities from the county in all of 2020.

For 12 consecutive days starting Jan. 17, the number of active cases among Otsego County residents exceeded 200. This had only happened once previously, in early September during the height of the SUNY Oneonta outbreak.

THIS WEEK — February 11, 2021

THIS WEEK’S NEWSPAPERS

The Freeman’s Journal • Hometown Oneonta

Feb. 11, 2021

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Pastor Paul Messner, Oneonta, who ministers to all four of the county’s Lutheran parishes, has attended the last 13 presidential inaugurations, from Richard Nixon’s (1973), upper left, to Joe Biden’s (2021), lower right. The first one was happenstance, but then the grip of one of the nation’s foremost ceremonies took hold. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

FRONT PAGE

COVID RIPS FOX

Tops, Price Chopper Set For Merger

Trump 2020 Billboard Going In April

Amy Schumer Flies With Local Wings

EDITORIAL

Local Governments Should Tend Our Roads, Not Our Minds

County Board Split On How To React To Capitol Attack

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

LETTERS

MOYNIHAN: To Explain COVID-19, It’s Back To The Future

DUNCAN: Let’s Try A Little Tenderness

BERKSON: The Jumping Chicken Of Otsego County

History Columns

Bound Volumes: February 11, 2021

Hometown History: February 11, 2021

AllOTSEGO.life

From Nixon To Biden, Pastor Hasn’t Missed One

Can You Help?

OBITUARIES

Clara F. Waring

Shirley U. Banner



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