To the editor: By the time a vaccine for COVID-19 is available, the society we once knew may be changed forever.
However, there is a solution, one well proven in communities and even nations that took the pandemic seriously: test, trace contacts, isolate the infected and retest.
The United States is far worse off than any other country, no matter how you cut the numbers, both in positives and those killed by the virus. A fourth of all the confirmed cases worldwide are in the USA, while epidemiologists insist the actual count is much higher. Other countries believe we have given up.
Our problem is not that China hid the plague from us. The Chinese were open and proactive when POTUS still insisted the coronavirus was a liberal hoax. Nor should we turn our back on the World Health Organization because they allegedly helped keep the epidemic secret. Even now, the White House continues to play the contagion down, claiming the science is bogus and the pandemic will go away “miraculously.”
Last Saturday in Oklahoma, Donald Trump protested, “When you do testing … you’re going to find … more cases. So I said to my people, slow the testing down.” Yet those who attended the Tulsa rally were required to sign a waiver exonerating the president’s campaign of liability if they contracted what he called the “Kung Flu.”
Most infected people have few symptoms while they are contagious and spreading the disease. Masks protect those who wear them but, more importantly, stop the presymptomatic or asymptomatic carriers from contaminating others.
122,000 dead Americans is not just a number.
This scourge has come to Alaska, and we should test everyone possible, sooner than later. Until we actively search for positives, most will remain “invisible.” If by fall the SARS-CoV-2 virus is raging here, you will wish you had insisted the local authorities arranged comprehensive testing earlier.
The sooner we test and isolate those who have the coronavirus, the less chance you and your family will catch it.