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Opinion: We must do better at managing COVID-19 pandemic
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People are tested for the COVID-19 virus Friday, May 15, 2020, in the parking lot of the Flor de Jalisco supermarket. State leaders spent time at the site in Gainesville’s largely Latino business district on Atlanta Highway as they sought to learn more about the area’s unique issues with and reaction to COVID-19. - photo by Scott Rogers

COVID-19 cases have exploded in the U.S. since the July Fourth holiday weekend.  This country does not have solid leadership in this pandemic with our current administration. 

President Trump constantly contradicts advice given by the CDC and experts who are advising him.  Trump has threatened to stop funding to states that do not open schools back up quick enough to suit him.  It is a careful process to reopen our schools and make it safe for our students, teachers and other personnel. 

New York City is reopening its schools with a blend of in the classroom time for a couple of days coupled with online study.  Masks and social distancing will be enforced and other measures to minimize the spread of the virus.

The U.S. has done a terrible job of containing this deadly virus.  We have reached the 3 million case mark just last Wednesday.  Cases are overwhelming hospitals in Arizona and Florida.

Supplies are getting so low that N-95 masks have to be decontaminated for second and third uses.  This is inexcusable and needs to be corrected.  We reopened our businesses too quickly and now COVID-19 cases are on the rise.  We are not flattening the curve.

Almost a third of all coronavirus deaths have happened in nursing homes throughout the country.  In Georgia, Gov. Kemp did task the Georgia National Guard to go to each facility and clean them up from top to bottom.  Their methods were so successful that several other states in the country have inquired about their cleaning methods, which were spot on. 

The only problem is this needs to be done throughout the country.  There is a niche that needs to be filled regarding nursing homes and retirement communities that house some of the most vulnerable of our citizens.  Safety companies need to be created that go to these facilities and get the employees up to speed on the best methods to safely run these facilities with a minimum of virus spread.  There are many furloughed nurses out there who would take a job to help train employees at these places.

Our country needs to go back to a partial lockdown in order to flatten the curve on this virus.  Other countries are doing a better job than we are in minimizing deaths from this virus.  Vietnam has had zero deaths from the virus and only 300-plus COVID-19 cases.  Vietnam has a population of 100 million and is about the size of Florida.  There are many diseases in Vietnam so the people are used to wearing masks.

Victoria state in Australia is about as big as Colorado and has approximately the same population.  Victoria state is going through another lockdown and they have had 22 deaths from the coronavirus.  Colorado has had over 1,500 deaths.

I know we have to get the economy moving again, but we need to start wearing masks where needed and use social distancing whenever possible.  I firmly believe that we will have a vaccine soon, but until we do, we need to get ahead of this virus.

William McKee

Flowery Branch

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