Opinion: World ‘woefully unprepared’ for coronavirus

Editor,

It is increasingly clear that the United States of America, and our entire planet, is woefully unprepared for the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, and that any responses to the crisis after the virus has found a way into countries without secure borders, are at best efforts to contain and isolate the infected populations from the further spread of the virus.

By the time isolated cases appear in any region of the world, and testing of any significant number of people finally occurs, they are finding many more people that are already infected.

The lead story of the Washington Post newsfeed reported Sunday morning that “The novel coronavirus has probably been spreading undetected for about six weeks in Washington State, where the first U.S. death was reported this weekend. A genetic analysis suggests that the cases are linked through community transmission and that this has been going on for weeks, with hundreds of infections likely in the state.”

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the NIH (National Institutes of Health), and the WHO (World Health Organization) keep affirming just that, and have stated plainly enough that because of our open borders and transportation hubs, any window of opportunity we have for preventing the virus from getting into the general population anywhere in the world is fading fast.

Contrary to the false claims and denials by our current administration and the spin Trump is telling his followers at campaign rallies, describing the pandemic as a hoax or a conspiracy by the Democrats to undermine his re-election, it is no such thing. The virus is real and the only effect of the denials and the blackout of information can be seen simply by looking at the effect of similar efforts by the Chinese government to conceal the truth.

Within a matter of days, the virus spread at alarming rates until the Chinese had to cordon off 100 million people in the region of Wuhan from spreading the virus any further from that region alone.

This pandemic pandemonium that is sweeping the globe at the moment is not a good thing, for sure, but this virus is not the end of the world. What it is, is a wake up call for all of us, and a timely one at that, thanks to the remarkable technology and the network of news and information coming to us from all parts of the world.

As a world-class destination poised to welcome guests from all over the planet into our neighborhoods in the next two weeks, our window of opportunity is also closing fast. It behooves us to take this pandemic seriously, and to prepare for what is increasingly considered inevitable.

— Rob Kerchen
Moab