Letter to the editor: Economy must reopen, but another wave is coming
First, heartfelt thanks to all those who are making sacrifices to fight the pandemic. The efforts to get proper equipment and procedures to reduce their exposure are critical. Also key are finding ways to minimize exposure for workers of all types and insuring them paid sick leave so they can stay home if ill. Perhaps we need national sick leave just as we have unemployment benefits. Thanks to the many people making economic and educational sacrifices, as jobs and schools are shut down to protect the health of the most vulnerable.
We know far more about this disease now. It is easily and widely transmitted even without symptoms. Most people who get it never know they had it. The disease hits the elderly and people with certain medical conditions much harder. Recent studies show the mortality rate is only about one-tenth of what was originally predicted, and unfortunately ventilators are no panacea.
The current desperately needed move to open up the economy will cause another wave of the pandemic. Testing is starting to ramp up, but even if there is enough testing, the public health workforce to track down and quarantine cases is totally inadequate. Neither President Donald Trump nor Gov. Jared Polis are going to solve Summit County’s problems. Either the county needs to step up, or we need to be ready for the next wave and partial shutdown and the wave after. Eventually, antibody testing will tell us how many waves to expect before enough of us have immunity to slow the spread of COVID-19. New York testing now shows over 20% exposure. Most experts think 50% to 80% will be required for herd immunity. It looks like a rough road for those of us who are most vulnerable. Manage your risk wisely and stay healthy.
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