To the editor:
There are at least two ways to look at the COVID-19 pandemic: either as doomsday and we’re all going to die, or as a needless overreaction which is harming a lot of people who aren’t very likely to catch the disease.
I’m sympathetic to the former but I’m leaning to the latter. I’ve started to think we can develop a logical restart plan in which we allow businesses to function, in a modified way perhaps, and people can go back to their jobs, possibly with a few minor restrictions.
The state of Kansas, as of April 1, had 428 confirmed cases and nine deaths. This was taken from www.kdheks.govcoronavirus
Out of 105 counties, only 41 have confirmed at least one case of coronavirus. Thus far, 64 counties have confirmed no cases at all.
Three counties, Johnson, Wyandotte and Sedgwick, have the bulk of confirmed cases: 143, 93 and 64, respectively. Douglas and Leavenworth follow with 30 and 25, respectively. I might continue the stay-at-home order for the first three counties, but I’d let everyone else go back to work, with precautions.
The precautions I would recommend are first, when people come to work, take their temperature. That would be a condition of operating the business. If they have a fever, send them home.
Isolate in the workplace to the extent possible. When people meet the public directly, have plastic shields between them if possible, or have the employees wear masks and plastic gloves or whatever else is appropriate.
Install hand sanitizers for both employees and the public.
When someone tests positive for coronavirus, pounce on them like a cat on a mouse. Get them isolated. Ask them who they might have come in contact with, track the contacts down and warn and/or test them.
I’d continue to restrain schools, parties, church congregations, night clubs and sporting events for a time. But I’d let the restaurants open again.
I think we could operate our businesses responsibly without increasing our exposure significantly.