While I support following the instructions from government officials at this time, because remedial actions taken during emergencies shouldn’t be second-guessed, I do have some serious concerns with the current response and how it’s covered in the media.
When there’s a 50-times greater chance of dying from some other cause, as there is in Oregon, the negativity around COVID-19 shouldn’t so dominate the media. The unfortunate result is anxiety in many individuals. The upshot, living in fear, is both unhealthy and takes time away from enjoying life.
Moreover, there are a whole range of alternative options that allow for differing circumstances, besides the current, rigid, one-size-fits-all, phased approach. A primary concern is incidental deaths, such as increased suicides, fatal car accidents, and delayed medical tests and treatment due COVID. The deterioration of our economy and kids' education is another concern.
Other options could minimize the overall loss of life and still increase our freedom during this pandemic without compromising jobs and our economy. Other states and other countries have taken different approaches. An honest appraisal of their results could very well help us toward that end.
We should have started with better planning before this emergency arose. I propose consideration of such options for all potential disasters, as described on my Disaster Planning page under "Issues."
My Gazette-Times Letter to the Editor that challenges the COVID-19 policy interventions that restrict our autonomy; asks if more are dying due to suicides, stress, and deferred medical care than are dying of COVID; and quotes the national Center for Disease Control and Prevention stating that "extended school closure is harmful to children."