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Re: "Do we permit a virus to destroy our economy?" [Village News, Letter, 03/26/20]


Last updated 4/2/2020 at 2:29pm

This letter is in response to the editorial comments from Dr. James Veltmeyer. I cannot believe an actual M.D. could be so colossally ignorant of the facts of something he is writing about a pandemic.

I would strongly suggest that the good doctor allow the experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration and just about every infectious disease doctor and researcher in the world to be deciding exactly what we should do to fight this pandemic. Experts the CDC, FDA, prominent infectious disease doctors and scientists have said the following: “Too lax social distancing could produce a ‘big short sharp shock’ of infections in the next few months, overwhelming the health care system and killing enormous numbers of people.”

One just has to look at what is happening in New York City where social distancing and isolation was too late in being instituted. Even with the virtual shut down of New York City, the hospitals are being overrun with sick and dying patients, a total lack of ventilators, intensive care unit beds, face masks, gowns and medical staff. If we followed Veltmeyer’s advice, we would be seeing this in every city in the country, soon to be followed by the rest of the country.

He seems to think that only the elderly need to be isolated. He apparently wrote his article before the 17-year-old boy in Lancaster died of the disease and seems to forget that about half of the people getting sick are under 65 year old.

This virus is causing permanent lung and heart damage to many of the patients. Maybe Veltmeyer doesn’t think this damage is important; but I bet he would quickly change his mind about everything if it was his heart or lung being affected. Today the CDC reports that 14% of cases are severe, 5% critical and 3.4% of the people worldwide are dying of the disease. If, as estimated 50% of the 330,000,000 Americans caught this virus without social distancing and shutdowns, we would be looking at over 160 million sick people, with, even at “just 2%” death rate, we would be looking at 3,000,000 deaths – yes, that’s 3 million.

The country can recover from a depression – 3 million people cannot “recover” their lives.

If Veltmeyer would really like to help, he can volunteer his services at one of the many hospitals in the county. Since he doesn’t think this is such a serious deal, he wouldn’t even need to use any PPE.

Finally, by referring to Sen. Bernie Sanders unnecessarily, he has made this a political discussion versus a medical and health discussion.

I hope Veltmeyer will stop and think of the consequences of his letter. We are having enough trouble convincing younger people, and many older adults, that this situation is a serious problem – we don’t need a supposed “medical expert” to refute all the advice of the true medical and health professionals in the country.

Jeff Walker


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