As the North Coast buzzes with crowds eager to soak up the final weeks of summer, there’s an important detail to keep in mind while you’re planning this weekend’s activities.

The delta variant of the coronavirus has created a ripple effect in this small community in ways that aren’t visible while hiking to the top of a peak or running into the waves at the beach.

Hospitals across the North Coast are struggling from a surge of patients, and it’s putting a strain on their ability to care for other patients. In Astoria, Columbia Memorial Hospital reported that several patients who did not have coronavirus died because they could not be transferred to larger hospitals for the more complex care they required.

To put it simply, this would be a terrible time to need emergency care due to a preventable accident.

Take extra time to drive safely, especially on roads that may be more crowded than usual. Think twice before making that decision to leap off a cliff into water. Do as much research as possible to make sure you’re fully capable and prepared for that ambitious hike.

The medical care you may need if an accident does occur might not be there like it has in the past. I hope everyone enjoys a safe and healthy weekend on the coast.

Nikki Davidson is the editor of Coast Weekend. Contact her at 515-577-0005 or at ndavidson@dailyastorian.com.

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