Letters, July 17
COVID and Trump
Lately in the MT there have been multiple stories about the COVID-19 virus getting worse in Jackson County, including a predicted surge of the virus in Oregon. Controlling the spread of the virus will require avoiding indoor gatherings, social distancing and everyone wearing masks.
What we don’t see are stories about Trump acting responsibly, following the science and promoting polices that will keep the virus in check. His solution is magical thinking. He says over and over the virus will disappear. But it has not.
Trump says there will be a vaccine this year. It won’t happen. Polio and Ebola vaccines took about 20 and 10 years respectively. Best estimates by Dr. Fauci and other experts is that we will be lucky to have a vaccine by the middle of next year.
Recently the virus has moved from the elderly to the young, reducing the overall death rate. Unfortunately many young people seem to think that getting the virus is no big deal. However, many recoveries take weeks and months. Perhaps one in 10 patients who were hospitalized may have long-term, serious disabilities from the infection, such that attempting post-infection immunity is risky. Wear a mask.
Perfect storm: COVID-19 and racism
Many essential workers are people of color who fear going to high-risk jobs but must in order to keep their health care insurance. Due at least in part to that, COVID-19 infection and death tolls of people of color far exceed their actual percentage of the population.
With racism and COVID-19 thus linked, it is clearly time to de-link health care from employment and cover all souls with health care insurance.
The U.S. House proposed a bold bill: the Health Care Emergency Guarantee Act. HCEGA would cover every resident of the U.S. with an improved Medicare For All program providing access to testing and health care to get control of the virus, costs, and eventually a vaccine. It could be funded by the next federal stimulus bill and create a transition plan for employers and employees to switch over to the new way of making their financial contributions.
This cannot happen until the President of Fear and Denial is gone and we have a Senate willing to make bold decisions in the country’s common interest. Let’s resolve to solve Racism and COVID-19 as contributing to the work the founders of our country left undone.
Wear your masks
This letter is addressed to all of you selfish individuals who refuse to wear face masks: All of us will pay the penalty when and if businesses, schools, sports, non-urgent medical procedures, etc., are unavailable again. C’mon folks, give us a break! Please wear your face masks and do your part to help out your fellow humans.