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Letter for Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The ‘good old’ days

I remember the days before COVID-19 when I regularly had at least one cold, one sinus infection, or the flu. One could checkout at Walmart with a cashier who had the sniffles, cough, or worse a bacteria; one could rub elbows with a tourist who had the same; hospitals had people die from regular flu; and I was never able to take a trip by airplane without catching something on one way or another.

Covid-19 has made us rethink the transmission of sickness and I am thankful for that. I have had the last few months safe from any of the evils of the “good old” days.

Although I look forward to going to the beach, meeting with friends for coffee, or just running into a half dozen people I stop to chat with at Costco or the market, I worry that we will forget how to avoid illness. I will be happy to wear my face mask to protect you from my germs and I hope you will protect me as well for a long time yet. Let’s require tourists to do so, too, and stomp out all these germs.

Marjorie Gifford, Princeville

8 Comments
  1. Michael Mann April 28, 2020 12:32 am Reply

    Marjorie, I’m afraid you can pretty much count on this place going back to the petri dish it always has been once/if COVID-19 is ever behind us. People have very short attention spans and memories. They didn’t seem to think much of the flu blowing through here the way it does every year, and I am not expecting that to change. If anything, it might be worse since the efforts at social distancing have been so successful here, I am willing to bet people are going to forget what it took or will only remember the economic impacts and “liberty infringements,” and say that these things can be avoided next time because we had so few infections last time. Just you wait.


    1. RG DeSoto April 28, 2020 5:31 pm Reply

      Sorry you seem to miss the significance of herd immunity. Sweden has successfully accomplished this…all with no tyrannical lockdowns.
      RG DeSoto


  2. merri April 28, 2020 6:08 am Reply

    If masks were proven to be effective I would be all for them. But these cloth cesspools are not in line with good sanitary practice. If you are ill/coughing etc. stay home. If healthy , go out and be productive. Use science not hyperbole


  3. RG DeSoto April 28, 2020 3:00 pm Reply

    Yes, Marjorie, it’s so much better to live in a bubble (or locked-down in your house) and lose any immunity you may have had or gained by simply living your life and taking the chances that we all take as we mingle with others. I prefer to live a real life and accept what comes…for better or worse.
    RG DeSoto


  4. Janet Eisenbach April 29, 2020 8:52 am Reply

    Obviously none of you have taken a basic microbiology class. You do not stay well by avoiding germs. You stay well by having a strong immune system. Hiding in your sanitized house with a mask on is the worst thing you can do to build up your immunity not to mention no one is being exposed to COVID in order to build up herd immunity. You are correct that things will be much worse in the future, not because we resume normal life but because we avoided being exposed and allowing our bodies to build antigens to it. Of course, the elderly and other immune compromised people should always exercise caution during outbreaks, but there is no reason or historical precedent for quarantining the healthy.


  5. Michael Zieman April 30, 2020 4:33 am Reply

    Janet is absolutely right. The quarantine started out as a way to “bend the curve” but over time the narrative has changed to “save lives”. Thus the politicians have painted themselves into a corner. They are afraid to remove any restrictions because there will be those that will blame them for ANY virus related illness or death that can be remotely blamed on removing restrictions. Our politicians and media have also created irrational fear among the populous which makes it unpopular to lift restrictions. We need leaders with guts, not afraid to make bold and often unpopular decisions based on science and facts. A few weeks ago Mayor K stated he was “following the numbers”. The numbers have not changed in weeks, the number is ZERO, so why must we wait until May 3rd for any easing? We need to follow a rational and fact based approach such as has been done in the states of FL and ND. Protect the elderly especially those with underlying conditions. Make testing widely available, including antibody test to show who has already had the virus asymptomatically and implement vigorous contact tracing and quarantining for those infected. Test travelers (tourist and residence) before they board a plane, this technology now exist. Stop applying a one size fits all approach and start opening the economy now not later. Killing the economy has REAL negative health effects on people too! Drug abuse, suicides, domestic violence to name just a few.


  6. LTEreader April 30, 2020 9:15 am Reply

    Not sure where some of you get your information from, however…

    SWEDEN:
    “Compared to other European nations that haven taken stricter measures, Sweden’s curve, the rate of infections and deaths caused by the coronavirus, is steeper. As of Wednesday, Sweden has at least 1,937 reported coronavirus-related deaths, compared to Norway’s 185 and Finland’s 149 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University”

    HERD IMMUNITY:
    “Generally, the higher the R0, the harder it is to control the spread of infection. So far, R0 estimates for COVID-19 are varied, but most estimates place it between 2 and 3.5. At these numbers, you would need between 60-70% of the population to be immune in order to achieve herd immunity. If the United States were to achieve herd immunity without a vaccine, this would mean we would have millions of cases of COVID-19, and likely many deaths. To achieve herd immunity in the U.S., that would be close to 200 million cases and even with a low fatality rate of 0.5%, which is probably the best estimate at present, that would be 1 million fatalities in the U.S. This is obviously not an acceptable risk and would definitely overwhelm the health system”

    MASKS:
    “It is critical to emphasize that maintaining 6-feet social distancing remains important to slowing the spread of the virus. CDC is additionally advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus, and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.”


  7. Michael Zieman May 1, 2020 9:04 pm Reply

    Sweden made one huge mistake in their approach to COVID-19, they failed to protect the aged and especially those with underlying conditions. This is why 12% of those diagnosed with the virus die in Sweden compared to about 5.8% in the U.S. (That is if you can trust the numbers being report which is a whole different subject.) Still Sweden’s health care system has not been overwhelmed notwithstanding the fact that schools, bars and restaurants are all open. Instead of tight lock downs, Swedish officials have encouraged citizens to use common sense, work from home if possible, and not gather in crowds over 50 so I would say overall it is working for them.

    HERD IMMUNITY:

    The antibody testing going on has largely been under reported in the media. It is showing the number of people who have had the virus is at least ten times higher than those diagnosed with it. So it is clear the vast majority of people who get the virus are either totally asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms. In NY City antibody testing has shown that 25% of the population has already had the virus. But lets bring the focus back to Kauai. Our health director states that we must wait 28 days since the last infection before relaxing any restrictions, with due respect this criteria is not being used anyplace else in the world to the best of my knowledge. As I noted in my previous post Killing the economy has REAL negative health effects including deaths. We should have started returning to normal yesterday, not tomorrow, while at the same time protecting those most vulnerable, institute vigorous contract tracing etc. We CANNOT lock down the island for 28 days every time a single case of COVIT is uncovered, that would be insane.


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