To the editor:

Interesting to read the response of conservatives to the COVID-19 pandemic, at least from what I read in the Leavenworth Times. Let’s start with George Will. In his recent column, his point was that humans have an immune system and to stop worrying so much about diseases. He has a point. Our bodies contain all sorts of good and bad bugs which normally protect us. He didn’t mention that far too many Americans use far too much antibacterial soap and too much prophylactic antibiotics. The result is bad bugs are resistant to many antibiotics.

Mr. Proctor’s letter raises serious points. Yes, shutdown orders disrupt local commerce. And yes, it is up to us in Leavenworth to help each other and support local businesses and institutions.

I don’t envy county commissioners, mayors and the governor. They have hard decisions to make and there will be pain no matter what they decide.

Essentially they have two choices. One, ask people to voluntarily take protective measures (staying home) and allow businesses to stay open, or two, impose a lockdown and force non-essential businesses to close. Pick the first choice and the virus will spread faster, more people of all ages will die faster, the health care apparatus will collapse faster and economic activity will remain stagnant for a long time as the disease runs through several cycles. Since rapid testing doesn’t exist in America, we have no idea how many people are infected.

Or they can listen to their public health officials and impose a lockdown. The economic pain will be immediate but hopefully fairly short-lived. Once the infection rate has slowed enough that the medical system can handle things, businesses can reopen and the economy can start to recover.

Which brings Randolph Oberlin to mind. Contrary to his opinion, COVID-19 will come to any Kansas county, if it is not there already. No rural county in the country is equipped to handle this pandemic well. Most likely, states will have to surge medical help to these counties in order to cope. When that surge is needed, better hope that COVID-19 infections have declined in the more populous counties.

When this pandemic is under control, it will be high time to face the real problems it has brought to the surface. Ignore the gross incompetence and buffoonery of this reality show administration. We have a shaky health care system. We are not prepared to handle pandemics and any nationwide disaster. The fact that 40% of Americans don’t have $400 in savings should bother all Americans. The answer to our problems will be a blend of both conservative and liberal approaches. Will that happen if Trumpistan lasts another four years? Don’t hold your breath.