The President has stated that “The cure can’t be worse than the problem.” He said that he would like to start opening up the country to business as soon as Easter Sunday. However, the virus has already spread to all 50 states. The current thinking is to designate areas based on risk so that areas where Covid-19 has not infected too many people (how much is too many?) could be phased in and businesses and manufacturing can restart.
This idea, however, is one that might actually increase the spread of the disease into these areas. There is no doubt that areas such as NY, LA, Detroit, New Orleans and other heavily infected locations need to remain closed to those businesses not deemed essential. But what about areas that have not been affected significantly as of yet?
Many of these areas are rural areas without the healthcare facilities or personnel to handle an outbreak. How would we restrict movement of people to these areas once businesses open? We could test people to see if they have been infected, and once recovered see if they have developed immunity. This test, however, is not available in significant enough numbers to be of use. There has also been mention of only letting people under the age of 60 return to work, as they were felt to be at a lower risk of complications from the infection. Unfortunately, as more people become infected and symptomatic, people under the age of 60 are also becoming severely ill and dying.
Yes, the country needs to eventually open up for business, but not at the expense of infecting more people. That path would devastate the economy more than what we see now. We need to look to long term lasting answers and not rush into a quick fix. We need to listen to the experts like Dr. Fauci, and other physicians and scientists before we rush into a worse disaster than what we are currently facing.
• E. Steven Lenger M.D.
Compliments of MPC Consultants – a member of the EACCNY.