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Letter to the Editor: "Here's what to expect next with COVID-19"

Posted: Sun, Dec 6, 2020 3:17 PM

(The following Letter to the Editor has been submitted by Decorah physicians Kevin Sand, David Bakken and Max Quaas):

"Hope is on the horizon in the coronavirus pandemic. Several excellent effective vaccines are being approved. To use them we have to survive until they are available in several months. Please search on the internet "The Atlantic, Iowa"  and read "How Iowa mishandled the Coronavirus Pandemic".

The White House Coronavirus Taskforce, in their November 29th report to Iowa, says "Iowa's new cases are 6th highest in the country, and positivity rate is 10.1 percent, or 7th highest in the US.  98 percent of Iowa's counties have high levels of community spread."

Our pandemic in Iowa will likely get much worse over the next weeks. More of us will die when hospitals are overwhelmed and don't have enough space or staff. The Taskforce recommends:

1.    "It must be made clear that if you are over 65 or have significant health conditions, you should not enter any indoor public spaces where anyone is unmasked due to the immediate risk to your health. You should have groceries and medications delivered."

Epidemiologist Dr. Michale Osterholm says "don't share air." We realize essential workers support us at their own risk, and thank them. Our local businesses offer curbside service when asked and we need to support them.

2.    "If state and local policies do not reflect the seriousness of the current situation, all public health officials must alert the state population directly."   It is obvious Gov. Reynolds is unable to protect Iowans, with many "preventable deaths" already.  It is about to get much worse. We must protect ourselves. Mask up, distance, and if you  have risks, and are able to, stay out of public buildings, get curbside, and don't gather with others outside your household, including the holidays. A lonely Christmas is better than an ICU New Years. Use for more information, or call  Winneshiek County Public Health at (563) 382-4662."