On my way home from work today, I heard a radio interview. The person being interviewed, and sorry I don’t remember who it was, stated if we do not get a handle on the Coronavirus, our hospitals will be overwhelmed within 10-15 days.
Listening and reading, many people still believe we are overreacting to this new virus. The argument is always about how the usual flu kills a large number of people each season. While this is true, this virus, as I understand it, travels faster and easier than the usual flu. Plus it has, so far, a mortality rate of three times as high as the flu.
As I wrote last night, our school district closed for four weeks, which includes two weeks of Spring Break, due to two students showing Coronavirus symptoms. There was another adult case as well in my county. Statewide, we are now at six cases since Friday. I also found out my hometown school district is now also closed until the end of March.
With all I’m reading and seeing, I have come quickly to the conclusion we really do need to close schools, cancel events in which large numbers of people gather, make as many people as possible telework, highly stress people not to travel for the next month, and plead with people to stay home and cocoon as much as possible—not to socialize even with friends person-to-person. By keeping carriers and those at-risk out of contact, maybe, just maybe, we could mitigate the spread of the virus.
I often wonder why our elected officials are always so slow to react to public health concerns when they can see what has happened to other countries. It isn’t that hard to see how it spreads and how to help mitigate the spread.
State governments should mandate anyone who can telework should do so for the next month, cancel all large gatherings including sports events and conventions, close all schools and universities, and urge people fto stay home as much as possible. If we aren’t in one another’s social space, it dramatically hinders the spread (we have seen it work in China).
At some point, it can’t be about the money, it has to be about the common good. It has to be about our grandmothers and grandfathers, our aunts and our uncles, our moms and our dads, our sons and our daughters.
Hopefully our elected officials will soon make the hard decisions and the right choices to protect their people before its too late, and not make decisions based upon money. It will hurt in the short-term, but will be good for the commons in the long-term.
Governors, mayors, town councils, Representatives, Senators and Superintendents make the call to keep us well. Be adults and make adult decisions, even when it appears to be unpopular. Sometimes one must do the right thing even in the face of potential criticism.
Make the call before it is too late, causing our loved ones and yours, needless pain and suffering.
Make the call!