It’s hard for me, a retired scientist, to understand what passes for logic in discussions of the COVID-19 virus.

In a recent letter, it was asserted that there are only three ways to stop the spread of the virus: completely isolate/quarantine the population (clearly impossible economically in the long term); produce and distribute an effective vaccine (6 to 18 months away under the most optimistic scenarios); or produce herd immunity (clearly devastating for those like myself who live with someone with immune system compromising conditions).

My reaction to this assertion, recalling statements by experts in virology and public health, was: Aren’t we forgetting something here?

Experts are saying that using masks when in public places, paying careful attention to personal hygiene — i.e., washing hands and using sanitizer, and practicing social distancing — when combined with testing and contact tracing can reduce virus cases to a low, manageable level.

We now have data showing that these practices are indeed the key until a vaccine is available.

Those countries and U.S. states that have rigorously required and/or encouraged them through education and regulations (Taiwan, South Korea, most European Union states, New York, Rhode Island) have steadily reduced overall infection rates.

Those who haven’t (Brazil, India, and the states of Florida, Texas, Arizona and, yes, Alabama) now have spiking numbers of cases with mounting ICU patients and deaths.

It is foolish to omit the single most effective containment strategy from the plan — the virus doesn’t care what you say, only what you do.

Roger L. Tanner

Florence

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(10) comments

David Rau

It was not China that brought the virus to our shores. It was Trump that set on his fat ### for 3 months and did nothing to stop the virus coming here. He even said in feb that it was all a hoax and that no American would die from it. The economy under Trump was a total failure. When Obama left office the unemployment rate was under 5%. Under Trump 40% of American families could not even meet a 400 dollar expense and 60% could not meet a 1,000 dollar expense. Trump gave a huge tax cut to the rich and the working man had to pay 90 billion more in fed. tax last year, Under Obama more jobs were created in 1 year than under Trump in 3 years. Under Obama the fed. debt rose 5 trillion in 8 years and its risen almost 10 trillion under Trump in just a little over 3 years.. And under Obama the stock market rose every year and under Trump its went down 2 of his 3 years in office. And Trump is really no ones President he lost to Hillary by 3 million votes. And hes finished Biden now leads in the polls 59 to 39% and goes up every time crooked Trump opens his mouth. Trump was never fit for the job like Bolten said.

Dustin Brocato

Can you read this chart, or should I spell it out?

https://www.marketwatch.com/investing/index/djia/charts

David Rau

You can't name one law that Obama broke. When Obama became President we were losing 1 million jobs a month, Obama turned that around. Obama got good affordable health insurance for 50 million that did not have it. Obama got us out from Ws illegal war. With his stimulus he got us out from under W's depression. Obama regulated the corrupt banks. Obama saved the domestic Auto industry, Obama had Osama Bin Laden hunted down and killed after W said he was not interested in doing that. Obama made BP pay for their massive oil spill in the gulf. When Obama was the President Putin did not dare put a bounty on American soldiers. And Obama made the rich pay for their fair share of taxes. So it sure looked like Obama was a very effective President to me, and since Obama was born in Hawaii he is very American.

David Rau

I think you will agree with me Walter that we have not had a leader since President Obama. The current state of the union proves my point. Corrupt Trump was never fit for job he's just a reality show star and not a very good one even at that.

Daddy Joe

Obama was the most corrupt, anti-american, ineffective POTUS in history!

RAW RAW

You are right Daddy Joe! These two are local Dung Beetles that would rather tear down a country than be productive citizens and need to realize that their the problem. Good luck convincing them of that! There is no difference between Dumb and Stupid!

Walter Bradford

Dear Mr. Rau, I think it is quite evident by the reply from "Daddy Joe" dated July 15, 2020 that your summary of the current prez must be accurate. Not once did Mr. Daddy Joe rebut your summary of (t)rump. No, instead he chose to forget that tack and try the same on POTUS Obama. The pure travesty of the handling of the Global Pandemic will follow (t)rump from a historical perspective for a century. It will be all he shall be remembered for, the murder through negligence and wanton greed of minimum 135,000 innocent American citizens. While America has had wonderfully dedicated, proven Scientists and Medical Experts to listen to and guide us through the pandemic as it has continually evolved trump has relied on a released game show host, "Chuck Woolery" for all his scientific and medical expertise. Mr. Rau, we have to notify Alabamians through honest comment about the lies, rumors and innuendo being used to subvert critically important pandemic information. I don't care about the election if it comes between human life, truth or who wins in November 2020. Walter A. Bradford Florence

RAW RAW

Ill reply that you two are Liars and Dung Beetles. The economy was jumping until the Chinese released the covid-19 and the Dems release the rioters that they paid for in full because they don't get their way. You get on her and sprout the same ole lies that CNN sprouts. So this president and the United States of America's president has done a great job. You talk about Trump being mouthy well record yourself and Mr Dungarau and see the stupidity that you spew out all ends. If he isn't your President then this aint your country. You two quit being butt hurt about Hillary and do something productive with your lives please cause 2020 ain't gonna change a thing for you whiners.

RAW RAW

[ban][spam] Liar!

Walter Bradford

Dear Mr. Tanner, I am not a retired Scientist but I think I still recognize logic when I hear it and see it applied. America has been guided not by a Leader trying to effect the best change for The People but a Leader trying to effect the best election results for himself. As a result, many lower ranked people of his same following, yes Alabama have to been quick to throw away science and common sense in an attempt to please the leader politically and thus avoid being publicly humiliated by that same person. Now I know what you say about contact tracing, masking and safe distancing and that's all well and good but Mr. Tanner until America returns to some semblance of order, reason and logic, chaos and death are going to continue to rule the day. I am absolutely shocked at The Alabama Governor refusing to order a return to lock down, masking and safe distancing. Her reasoning that she doesn't wish to upset or anger anyone is blindly ludacris and in if itself shows the need for the current governor to reassess her ability to govern and if need be resign so someone with more Leadership than political party loyalty may save the balance of Alabamians. You reference to your spouses Immune Deficiency is sad, hope you are able to continue protecting her. Best wishes, Walter A. Bradford Florence

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