Why the virus is still here

December 17, 2020

Editor:

A letter in a recent edition of the Mohave Valley Daily News asked the question “Why is the virus still here?”

It’s still here because we have a president who down-played it in the beginning, called it a hoax and claimed it would soon “disappear”. We have a president who has done nothing to mount a federal program to contain the virus. As a result we have had a patchwork of mandates, closures, testing, tracing and even denial by numerous governors across the country.

Without a federal policy, we have been subjected to every level of rule and regulation from governors, to county officials, on down to city and town officials. We have had mask mandates, social distancing and hand washing admonitions for 10 months. We have had school and business closures, many businesses closed permanently.

The president tweeted criticism of Democratic governors for their actions, as many GOP governors chose to ignore the danger and refused to consider closing businesses, or issue mask mandates. They are now paying the price for their lack of awareness as their rural hospitals are overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. The virus is spiking in all 50 states and states are running out of ICU hospital beds as their citizens sucumb to the virus.

Nationwide, the number of cases has skyrocketed, surpassing 16 million cases and 300,000 deaths. The daily death toll several times has surpassed the losses of 9/11; there were more than 3,000 last Wednesday and again last Thursday, who left grieving families behind.

There’s a number of people who do not believe the science or the medical experts. They don’t know anyone who got sick, or anyone who died or lost a loved one, therefore it’s all “fake news.” Some of them are people who claim their “Constitutional rights” are being violated when they are required to wear a mask to enter a supermarket Wearing a mask may be inconvenient or uncomfortable. But the protection it provides can save lives. Have we become such self-centered, entitled people that we cannot see that we owe our fellow Americans the safety of wearing a mask?

Regardless of what an individual may believe, those beliefs will not stop the spread of this deadly virus. We all want to go back to our former lives. But until every one cooperates, or until 85% of us get vaccinated, that isn’t going to happen. For many months, nearly every issue of this paper has published the number of reported cases in the countery. We’re seeing record totals on a regular basis. And more deaths right here in Bullhead City.

So, the answer to the question of why the virus is still here is that we have had a lack of leadership in the White House. We have had national, state and local officials unwilling to do what is necessary to protect our population, and far too many Americans who refuse to be a little uncomfortable for a short time, even if it means saving lives.

Charlotte Costello, Bullhead City

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