Letter to the editor: Isolation of Summit County is the wrong policy
We should be striving to achieve herd immunity before Denver opens and visitors arrive carrying the gift of COVID-19. Current antibody data from Stanford University, Massachusetts General Hospital and data from New York City are indicating infection rates could be 50-85 times higher than existing confirmed cases, with populations having 25% to 40% infection levels. We have had a dangerous and disgracefully low level of testing in the county. By continuing the isolation, we remain ignorant of what our true infection rates are. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 25% of infected people are asymptomatic. Our greatest risk in the county would be if the number of cases needing hospitalization overwhelmed our health care resources. Currently, we have unused beds, underutilized staff and a surplus of personal protective equipment. Now is the time to open the county so our local population can achieve herd immunity while any serious cases can be adequately cared for. Our younger and more resilient population would help us achieve this. Schools should not be closed and businesses should be opened before the tidal wave of disease arrives and our health care system becomes overwhelmed.
The Incas were at one time the largest empire in the world, covering 3,400 miles and 10 million people. They were not destroyed by Pizarro with 168 men but by the diseases that came from Europe that they had no immunity against. They had been isolated without the chance to develop herd immunity to the infections. We should learn from their tragic demise.
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