GREGG NEWBURY, San Clemente

You asked us to stay home. We learned a new term when we had to go out: social distancing. The object was to “flatten the curve,” you said. Just a few weeks so as not to overwhelm the hospitals.

We did that successfully for two months. You pushed the goalposts out further to somewhere between getting a vaccine and obtaining a zero coronavirus death rate. Both objectives are impossible.

If there were no costs to staying home, then we could stay home forever. But there are costs. The costs are tremendous, possibly irreversible.

Many, many businesses won’t be here when we open up as it is; the longer we stay out, the fewer businesses will sustain this shutdown. These are lives ruined.

Your favorite restaurant downtown will be shuttered. Bars and night clubs. Hospitals. Manufacturing. Shops. Millions will remain on unemployment until it runs out. Homelessness. Suicides. Domestic violence. Drugs. Alcoholism. Depression. Robberies. Murder.

We bent the curv,e and now you are asking for more. Shutting down the largest commerce in the union is easy. You should use your ingenuity and science to figure a way to open this state back up. Flatten the unemployment curve. Flatten the economic curve. 

Some people make it a choice between staying home and dying. That is a false assumption. A Stanford study showed the death rate is extremely lower than 1%. Lower than driving on the 405. Lower than the common flu. Lower than most anything.

You will get some help from science, if you let it. Sunlight, heat, and fresh air are all thought to be anathema to coronavirus, and we are coming into summer. Open our beaches. We found a way to keep supermarkets open by wearing masks, following the decals on the floor, plastic shields between worker and customer.  

Now open all retail. Anything without dine-in should be a no-brainer; large gatherings will require more thought, but that can be done. Open up the other-than-retail workplaces as well; get people back to being productive again. Some have to pay rent. Study other states opening up. Open this state now.

Editor’s Note: Based on a sampling of 3,300 Santa Clara residents who received antibody tests in early April, a team of Stanford University researchers believes the findings suggest the virus has a fatality rate of between 0.12% and 0.2%, much closer to the death rate of the flu, which is 0.1%. Other statisticians, epidemiologists and infectious disease experts have questioned the Stanford study, which had not been peer-reviewed. Skeptics of the study note that the math isn’t consistent with other cities, such as New York City.

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comments (3)

  • Epidemiologists have a dark little joke—

    Two guys are skydiving. At 10,000 feet during the parachute ride down one says to the other, “hey, these chutes have worked great and really broken most of this fall, i guess we can take them off now”!

    Our Country has the world’s worst infection and death numbers because we have been led by a clown. The little success we have had slowing this down is from one reason– science. Now is not the time to stop the distancing etc. We are still at 10,000 feet. Can we open parts of the economy? Can we open slowly? Probably yes in certain situations and places if we have adequate testing which, thanks mostly to radical gov negligence, we STILL do not have.

    The choice is clear–

    Follow Trump and his cult of death and gibberish, or…

    Stick with the science that has helped to flatten the curve.

    In the meantime, let’s work together to find ways to open the economy slowly and VERY carefully so we don’t continue to “pull a trump” and make this mortal and economic catastrophe 10 times worse.

  • Mr. Newberry’s letter to the editor is factual and true. Blaming President Trump for this pandemic is silly. It is Gov. Newsom who is giving the orders in California. The President is respecting federalism and the 50 Governors to make local decisions.

    And I agree with Mr. Newberry – its time to re-open the economy – smartly and safely with social distancing, etc. And for those who feel they don’t want to leave home due to health risks – they should have the freedom to stay at home. We need to be treated as adults by our political leaders. After all automobile accidents happen all the time, but we don’t ban cars or driving because we as a society have evaluated the risks and rewards and decided to allow driving. Those that don’t want to can take a bus.

    For those who wish to keep everyone (or almost everyone) at home for longer periods of time please answer these questions:

    1. How many people or small businesses out of 100 must file for bankruptcy protection to make you feel safe?

    2. How many people out of 100 must lose their jobs permanently for you to feel safe?

    3. How many people out of 100 must move out of state to a place that is open for business (to obtain a job or make an income) for you to feel safe?

    4. How much revenue must local governments lose due to the stay at home orders (no economic activity to tax) to make you feel safe (10%, 25%, 50% or 100%)?

    5. How many local government employees (police, fire, planning staff, administration staff, etc.) must suffer layoffs due to the massive drop in revenue (which has already happened) to make you feel safe?

    Bottom line – there is more at stake if we do NOT re-open than if we do. Yes we need to be smart about re-opening but we can’t let fear rule our lives. Those that want to continue to stay home – please feel free to do so. Those that don’t should be allowed to move forward, earn a living and contribute to our economy.

  • Open when it’s safe
    No sooner
    Let science do it’s job, not clown gop hacks.

    Public health was created to stop pandemics just like the fire service was created to stop conflagration.

    No one says Trump caused this.
    No one.
    Period.

    But his horrible response-

    Eliminating the WH pandemic office

    Praising China

    Doing nothing to build a testing program

    Nothing for PPE and vents until 100k we’re dead

    Late to lock down

    Turning public health briefings into trump clown rallies

    Many lies

    Hyping dangerous meds that are proven ineffective in peers studies

    Etc etc etc

    He has made it all sooooo much worse. Why else does the US lead the world on deaths and number of cases ??

    If you think the Current trump economic
    Collapse and death spiral is unpleasant, just wait till mid summer and fall. It’s about to get biblical due to our jack wagon president and the boot lick gop!

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