Letter: Other pandemic response scenario would be worse


Regarding those who think our civil liberties have been abridged and our economy needlessly trashed: What, exactly, do you think would have happened if the virus was allow to run its course?

Here in Island County, we could easily have had thousands of cases by now instead of fewer than 200, swamping all available health services: hospitals, clinics, ambulances, and especially the workers who run all these.

The unfortunates suffering heart attacks, strokes, serious injuries and other life-threatening conditions might have been locked out from access to medical care. P

reventable deaths not only from the virus but from other causes would have increased.

What about the economy? What would a significant number of people do if a case or two, or more, of COVID-19 was associated with a movie theater, grocery store, church, restaurant, hair salon or other place where people gather?

Most would have stayed away, and rightly so. Businesses would have been shut down due to lack of patronage, and likely for much longer than under our current situation.

What would have happened if several of your co-workers contracted the disease, and perhaps one or more had died? You would have had to choose between a job and exposure, with no known end date.

Without guidance, good tracking and confidence in safeguards, we wouldn’t have known when it was safe to re-engage with businesses.

Many people would have self-imposed a stay-home order for much longer than we’ll see under government management.

As Seattle’s mayor stated, this pandemic was going to shut down the economy one way or another.

Thinking otherwise is a pipe dream of fantasy proportions. The only choice was whether we manage the shut-down to allow a re-opening safely and based on evidence or we see major and enduring disruptions to everything with no assurances regarding safety.

My heart is with all those who have been impacted by this pandemic — the unemployed workers, those who continue to work at risk to themselves and their families, the small business owners, the students and especially those who have suffered loss of life or permanent disability from this awful disease.

Any other scenario than what we currently have would almost certainly have been worse for all.

Nancy Hepp


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