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Opinion: COVID-19 has changed our world, displayed worst in some
World Congress Center hospital
Gov. Brian Kemp takes part in a tour of a massive temporary hospital at the Georgia World Congress Center on Thursday, April 16, 2020, in Atlanta. Kemp took part in a tour of the 200-bed facility, constructed quickly in the lower levels of the Georgia World Congress Center which normally plays host to large conventions and sporting events. - photo by Associated Press

The past three months have been very different, to say the least. The world has been ravaged by a virus that is highly contagious, has no vaccine and is very deadly. 

Some people in this country and around the world have taken it very seriously. Many have sacrificed their very lives to save the lives of strangers. Yet some say this virus is just like the flu. They don’t want to stay home, and they don’t care if by getting out in public in large groups they are endangering the lives of others. 

The facts are that in the two months the COVID virus has been in the U.S., it has killed more than 50,000 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In the last eight months, between 24,000 and 62,000 people have died from the flu, according to the CDC. That is not the same!

We have health care workers who go to work in hospitals every day knowing that they will be working to save the lives of people who have contracted this virus. Sadly, the facts show that Trump knew about the seriousness of this disease in January when he and the Senate were briefed about its dangers. 

Sens. Loeffler and Perdue traded stocks and Trump said the virus was nothing to worry about. Recently, many people rallied around Trump when he tweeted that we should “Liberate” Minnesota, Michigan, and Virginia. As a result, along with multiple right-wing groups, protests were attended by thousands who did not practice social distancing. Do our brave medical personnel have to risk their lives to treat those thoughtless people when they get sick?

But wait; our flaky governor decided to listen to those protesters. He also took a look at his state budget. He had already cut taxes twice this year and as a result had to cut the state budget. But then he looked at the bottom line and realized it would be very expensive to pay for the unemployment benefits resulting from business closures. So, he is allowing the opening of the very businesses of the people who would need those benefits, and as a result, these folks may no longer be eligible for unemployment if they are afraid of being infected by this virus and prudently decide to stay sheltered in place. Even President Trump didn’t agree with Kemp on that one and through him under the bus!

Some say we got this virus because of globalization or immigration. This is not true! About 20% of our medical personnel are immigrants and they are working tirelessly to save the lives of people like you. We also have a full contingent of immigrants who are harvesting the food you eat. Without those two groups of people working so hard in America we would be in real trouble. Thanks to all those hard-working people who are helping us get through this pandemic!

Bette Holland


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