To the Editor:
An old movie titled “Panic in the Streets” would be an appropriate name or title for what’s happening in America today.
The impact of the coronavirus news on sports, transportation (especially international travel) and daily living have millions in America, as well as China, South Korea, Italy and many others in a state of mental distress.
Initially, and I believe correctly, President Trump tried to allay the citizens’ fears and asked for patience, to remain calm and follow available information and instructions on how to prevent further contamination/spread of disease.
We are no strangers to this type of crisis. According to Jon Greenberg, Polifact.com, from April 12, 2009, to April 10, 2012, in the U.S. there were 60.8 million cases of Swine Flu, as well as 274,304 hospitalizations and 12,400 deaths (estimated by CDC prevention).
The director of health and human services declared SwineFlu a public health emergency on April 26, 2009. The U.S. had only 20 confirmed cases at the time. A request for funding in the amount of $7.6 billion was made at the time.
On Oct. 24, 2009, six months after the director of Health and Human Services declared it a public emergency, President Obama declared it a national emergency. By then, the disease had claimed more than 1,000 American lives. According to officials, the vaccination program got off to a very slow start.
Can we compare the first six months of each crisis?
Brilliant minds are working feverishly for a vaccine that would stop the virus. Hopefully they will be successful. We might have avoided a problem far more serious than we have at this time.
Not long ago, thousands of immigrants from Central and South America were trying to force their way across our southern border. The same situation is happening in Turkey, which is holding 2 million to 3 million refugees in addition to another million next to Syria’s border.
Turkey’s president has threatened Europe with releasing them all if Europe does not comply with financial agreement.
An active virus and millions of people without homes. It is scary.
“March Madness” without a basketball.
The U.S. is, in fact, lacking in one important aspect: Testing to determine how widespread the virus is in America.
There is good news, though. The Mayo Clinic will start testing 200 to 300 immediately per day and increase substantially in the coming weeks. In addition, the three largest testing labs in the U,S, will do the same.
“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” — Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
retired master sergeant