We must use caution
To the Journal editor
While some non-essential workers are hurt by being unable to work, essential workers, especially our medical personnel, come face to face with the virus. Not only do they fear getting the virus, but also worry about bringing home the virus and exposing their family.
By opening the economy too soon or quickly, our already stressed medical workers will face more deaths from the virus. We are discovering through testing, especially in our nursing homes, prisons and meat packing plants that the number of people infected is multiple times higher than expected.
By not addressing those hot spots, the virus will spread to surrounding communities. Social distancing only slows down the spread. Without testing, we do not know who is infected, since many show no symptoms and unknowingly infect others.
The way to control the virus is through testing and isolating those who tested positive as well as testing those who came in contact. While social distancing flattens the curve, testing locates and isolates the virus and the curve dips downwards.
While it is vital to provide protective gear for our hospital staff, such protection needs to be provided for nursing homes, prisons, and meat packing plants as well as to set-up social distancing in such places as well as testing to identify and isolate those infected.
Re-opening prior to having control over places with close contact will only accelerate the spread leading to potentially overwhelming our hospitals and erasing the gains that our medical staff has achieved.
Such re-openings either will be short lived or the public will not feel safe venturing out and businesses will not do well. By locating the virus and isolating those infected, the curve will dip downward and the public will begin to feel safe and will venture out.