Drastic times call for drastic measures

When U.S. president Donald Trump mouthed the dreaded words telling the American public that the increase of spread and infection rates of COVID-19 will get worse before it gets better, his few words sparked fear among many.

Trump has for months downplayed the seriousness of coronavirus and with only a few exceptions, has not appeared in public or in photographs while wearing a protective mask. However, whether for hopeful political momentum gains or as a precautionary statement to the American public, his apparent change of opinion regarding the effects of COVID-19 is reason for concern.

Trump, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, as well as many other elected officials at state and national levels, appear to be more concerned about the financial well-being of our nation than they are of our personal well-being.

Our nation saw skyrocketing rates of coronavirus infections and subsequent deaths in March and April in the Northeast and Western regions that overwhelmed emergency rooms, morgues and funeral homes, which did not have the capacities to manage the numbers of virus victims.

Those skyrocketing rates of infection have now made their way into the South with states such as Florida and Texas setting new records of infection almost daily. Temporary hospitals have been erected in many areas in anticipation of the next round of infections while many school systems have announced plans for students, teachers and administrators to return to classrooms in a matter of weeks.

As difficult as it may be for governmental entities, businesses and residents, it seems that the most logical approach to slowing the spread is a hardline, nationwide mandatory shelter-in-place order for a minimum of 30 days coupled with an enforceable nationwide mask ordinance for essential workers who must be in the public due to their occupations.

Undoubtedly, a national shutdown would have devastating effects on our economy and would be a huge inconvenience for all; however, it seems there are few other options. A stable economy is of little value if a large percentage of our population becomes infected with the virus and death rates continue to escalate.

The often-quoted idiom “drastic times call for drastic measures,” which is derived from the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates who wrote “For extreme diseases, extreme methods of cure, as to restriction, are most suitable,” seems to be the most appropriate approach to slowing the spread.

It is past time for drastic measures to be taken in our fight against coronavirus if we have any hope for the preservation of live and the preservation of our nation. Perhaps the world and our nation should follow the advice of Hippocrates, who is considered by many as one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine, rather than following the advice of those whose concerns for the future appear to be more economy-focused.

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