Americans Must Unite To Fight Virus

Aug. 10, 2020

Editor, The News-Gazette:

United we stand, divided we fall. With COVID-19, division kills. Initially we made great progress with the shelter in place order. However, in the rush to return to normalcy while the virus remains active, the pandemics continues to spread.

On July 3, the Kansas governor mandated masks be worn in public to curb virus spread. Counties were given the authority to opt out, setting up a deadly experiment which could not have been ethically designed. Within a month, the trend is clear. In counties that rejected the mask mandate, new cases continue at 8-10 per 100,000 people per day. The more urban counties that implemented the requirement, started at 15 per 100,000 per day, have reduced to five per 100,000 per day.

Virginia has a statewide mandate for mask in public places. The practical limits of enforcement require public cooperation. Thanks compliant citizens. Some ignore it, threatening public health. To open up the economy, we must adapt to a new normal.

Imagine federal leadership that can nationalize policies including standardized universal testing with instant results. That will allow us to isolate those infected and test those he/she was in contact with. When we are confident that the person next to us is unlikely to have the virus, we can return to social gatherings without mask.

Please consider pandemic policy in upcoming federal elections. Though a vaccine may emerge to protect us, we must plan for living with the virus until and if that happens.

In the absence of federal leadership, states create policies that are compromised by weakest standards of other states. To protect ourselves individually, we must assess and reduce our own risk. Will Americans unite behind the policies that manage the pandemic? A common recognition of the threat is required.


Rockbridge County

The News-Gazette

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