Entering COVID-19 year three, Omicron’s unknowns, masks and self-testing updates, voting rights webinar tomorrow, February 8th special election ballots, land conservation...

View this in your browser.

Banner image showing King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles.

January 20, 2022

young child in mask

Photo Credit: https://www.vperemen.com. On today's second anniversary of the nation’s first COVID case (here in Washington), it's stunning to realize that many young children have no memory of life without COVID.

Dear Friends and Neighbors,  

Do you remember the term “Novel Coronavirus?” Two years ago today the first confirmed case in the nation was diagnosed in Everett. The patient was a 35-year-old man who had recently returned from a trip to Wuhan, China. The first death in the nation from COVID-19 also occurred here in Washington state and was announced at the end of February.

According to Wikipedia, “Until mid-March [2020], Washington had the highest absolute number of confirmed cases and the highest number per capita of any state in the country.”

Looking back, I remember the predictions of ‘This’ll be over in six months,’ and other assumptions we all made at the time. In hindsight, it seems naïve. Yet, it was indeed a “novel” virus - - the origin, method(s) of transmission, effects on the body... these were all unknown. We have all had to scramble to make decisions on prevention and treatment, essentially ‘building a house while living in it.’ And of course, as the virus has mutated, this scrambling and pivoting have continued.

We are now in yet another time period with many unknowns, as the Omicron variant has challenged some of our earlier assumptions about the virus. More on the Omicron-related questions scientists and public health professionals are grappling with is included below.  

Also included below, the latest on masks and self testing, a voting rights webinar tomorrow, the February 8th special election, land conservation and much more.

As always, I would like to hear from you. You can call me at 206-477-1004 or you can reach me by email at jeanne.kohl-welles@kingcounty.gov.   

All the best and I hope you are staying safe.