Government must adjust

its COVID-19 strategy

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Significant changes in the government's current policies dealing with the COVID-19 health crisis require immediate attention.

The data that has come out of South Korea and Italy are overwhelming as to which groups are in grave danger of dying from this virus and which are not. In South Korea, total fatalities currently are just under 3,000. For the population under 30 years of age, there are zero deaths and only one fatality in in their 30s and one fatality in their 40s. Almost all fatalities were in the 70-plus age group. In Italy, where current death totals have reached 3,500, the data is even more striking. The average age of those dying hovers around 80 years old. Recent news reports indicated that 99% of those who died had serious preexisting health problems. Fatalities under 50 years of age all had serious preexisting conditions.

Based on the data above, the most important policy change is to keep those groups in grave danger of dying isolated from other non-risk groups. Senior citizens who have their own homes should not have their adult children and grandchildren visit during the next few months. If colleges and universities were wisely kept open, students would not potentially infect their elderly parents. These are just a few examples how this separation could be accomplished.

The second policy change (which will help in avoiding an economic depression) is to allow those in the non-risk groups to go to work, to restaurants, etc. — just not at full capacities to allow for social distancing. Certainly many in these groups will become infected, but almost all will recover fully unless they have serious preexisting health problems.

Unless serious changes in our strategy are made, the social ramifications such as increased suicides and drug abuse will be significant.

David Schmookler.

Charlottesville.

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article. You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.

Your sports-only digital subscription does not include access to this section.

SALE!
Only $3 for 3 Months
Unlimited Digital Access

  • Unlimited access to every article, video and piece of online content
  • Exclusive, locally-focused reporting
  • News delivered straight to your inbox via e-newsletters
  • Includes digital delivery of daily e-edition via email
SALE!
Only $3 for 3 Months
Unlimited Digital Access

  • Unlimited access to every article, video and piece of online content
  • Exclusive, locally-focused reporting
  • News delivered straight to your inbox via e-newsletters
  • Includes digital delivery of daily e-edition via email