SPANISH FORT, Ala. (WKRG) — While social distancing from her home in Spanish Fort, Dr. Regina Benjamin refers to the novel coronavirus as Hurricane COVID-19. During an internet video call with News 5, the former U.S. Surgeon General and Gulf Coast native said, “I like to equate it to the fact that we may, we do have a Category 5 hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s not whether it’s going to make land. It’s when is it going to make landfall and how hard. What we’re seeing now, is just some of those outer bands starting to come ashore.”
In January, months before COVID-19 ever surfaced in Alabama, Dr. Benjamin warned News 5 viewers to be diligent about washing their hands. She says social distancing is also necessary.
“Now that doesn’t mean you can’t say hello to your friends… but, stay six feet apart and just don’t be close to each other. That’s the main thing. It’s not like you have to be afraid of them. You just don’t want to spread a germ.”
She hopes we’ll have a vaccine in six months or so, and says everyone has to take precautions and be prepared because this ‘Category 5 Hurricane COVID-19’ will take more of our loved ones. However, she says there is hope.
“One of the things that I hope that we all learn is that we are all in this together. that we are all equal.” She continued, “My faith is important to me, and I believe that we are all equal in the eyes of God. Seemingly we are all created equal in the eyes of COVID-19. So, it’s bringing us together, showing us that we’re all the same, that we’re all in this together and what I do to keep you safe, keeps me safe and what you do to keep me safe, keeps you safe and so we’re learning that.”
Benjamin avoids the politics of how government leaders have handled the virus. “We can do the autopsy later. We don’t do it now. Right now, we keep the patients alive. We keep America alive as much as we can.”