I was watching “Meet the Press” Sunday when I heard for the first time a clear evaluation of what lies ahead in our struggle with COVID-19. Dr. Michael Osterholm of the University of Minnesota laid out the following: Until a vaccine is developed, the number of cases will continue to increase and spread until we reach between 60-70 percent of all citizens, at which point we will reach “herd protection.”

The virus cannot be controlled in any meaningful way. What we have to do is learn to live with it as we go about our daily lives. I take this to mean that those who are at higher risk of serious side effects should be taking reasonable precautions while less vulnerable citizens should be going about their daily lives much as they would during the flu season.

I am 78 and will wear a mask in public, do social-distancing, use hand sanitizers and wash my hands regularly. I will not stop socializing with close friends and family and will go to public events on a selected basis.

In retrospect, closing down much of our economy was not necessary in much of the United States. It was necessary for New York City and other large metropolitan areas to close down to blunt the effect on their medical capacity. However, even in those areas draconian measures no longer seem necessary.

I understand the dilemma that governors are facing: Open up the economy and every death from the coronavirus falls at your feet. Keep the state locked down and every bankruptcy and unemployed person becomes your cross to bear.

What I contend is that, short of a vaccine being developed, our only protection is herd protection. Tell our citizens the truth and move forward with opening.

Patrick McLaughlin, Aberdeen

Publisher’s Note: This is a letter to the editor, submitted by a reader, and reflects the opinion of the author. The Pilot welcomes letters from readers on its Opinion page, which serves as a public forum. The Pilot is not in the business of suppressing public opinion. We are a forum for community debate, and publish almost every letter we receive. For information on how to make a submission, visit this page: https://www.thepilot.com/site/forms/online_services/letter/

(4) comments

Kent Misegades

The Wuhan flu is anything but the death sentence that has been portrayed of it, by people seeking to gain from this manufactured crisis. It took over 40 years to develop a safe vaccine for polio. I would not get my hope up for one soon for the Wuhan flu. What do we do when the next virus comes from China or elsewhere?

Dan Roman

Trump keeps saying we will have a vaccine by the end of this year or early next.

Kent disagreeing with the golden joke he worships, biting the hand that misleads us? Amazing!

Jim Tomashoff

Kent asks: "What do we do when the next virus comes from China or elsewhere?" Simple, send you to fight it and don't come back until you've accounted for the death of every single virus particle in writing.

Lynn Hancock

Tell the families of the 100,00 people who have died that Covid-19 isn’t a death sentence! By the way, the next virus could just as easily come from here.

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