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Random Thoughts

Letter to the editor of the Chicago Tribune

I just fired off this letter to the editor. Hopefully it gets printed and people don’t try to string me up for having lack of compassion for my fellow man. I just think that everything the American people and the federal government are doing is far in excess of what was required. Here is the letter.

Just about every step the federal government and the American people have taken to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak has been an unnecessary over reaction and will be more damaging to a greater number of people than those steps are meant to protect. Furthermore, the rush to cast aside free market principals in favor of central government control is disturbing in the speed in which it’s taking place as well as in the lack of resistance from the public and across well known pundits.

From all the reporting to date, about 80% of people that get infected experience little to mild symptoms. So mild in many cases that they don’t even know they have it. 15% get more serious symptoms that are the equivalent of a bad flu. The remaining 5% may need hospitalization but less than half of that are serious enough where they may die. The high risk group are those over 60 and those with compromised immune systems.

The advice for the majority of the population to stop their lives and hide will not do anything to stop the virus. In fact, this behavior may only stretch it out over a longer period of time. The proper advice is to have those in high risk groups take necessary precautions to protect themselves. 

Unless there is more than the public is being told with this virus it does not appear to be lethal enough for the government to shut down the US economy. I don’t want people to die. But I also don’t want to see businesses die and lives destroyed all across the country. Lives that otherwise would not have been tremendously affected by this virus. Instead of concentrating the response where it needs to be we’re spreading out the misery across all sectors of life. 

Our panic reaction is like amputating both legs in order to stop gangrene on one foot from advancing to the rest of the body. Will it fix the problem? Yes, but at what cost?