Wed | May 27, 2020

Let’s act sensibly

Published:Tuesday | March 31, 2020 | 12:10 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

Viruses are older than human existence. In 1918, we had the Spanish flu, which infected 500 million and killed 20 million to 50 million people. We had the SARS outbreak of 2002 to 2004. It infected 8,098 and killed 774 people from China, other Asian countries, the UK (4), and Toronto, Canada.

In 2014, the Ebola outbreak killed 11,315 in five African countries and the US.

So why wasn’t the world prepared for each one? Maybe because it was not profitable because they occurred over a decade apart; but that can change.

For Caribbean countries, COVID-19 is like a hurricane. Its time of impact is uncertain, but unpreparedness means death.

In fact, all countries – capitalist, socialist, and communist – are unprepared. The US has more cases of COVID-19 than China, about four times its population. In fact, the worst-prepared country in the world is the United States because its healthcare system is profit-driven and the most expensive in the world. It is the only advanced nation that has such a system. Europe, the UK, Russia, China, Canada, and Japan have a healthcare system that is government driven.

I think that shutting down the economy will not stop the spread of the virus. A lot of people are poor and cannot self-isolate. They must hustle food or they will die. I use South Korea as the model. They are at work.

We need to test everyone and then quarantine the infected. Everyone must wear a mask to work and practise proper hygiene. Consume a lot of vitamin C from oranges, etc. Let’s be sensible.

Every mouth must be fed. This current method will lead to social upheaval like what is starting to occur in Italy, or worse.

BRIAN E. PLUMMER