In a May 3 column, Rich Lowry concludes, “No, science can’t tell us how to respond to coronavirus” and suggests that the political establishment alone has the answers.
Unfortunately, his column is not only misleading, but he demonstrates a frightening lack of understanding of what science is.
For example, he states that “models of how the virus would spread were invested with a certainty they didn’t deserve.” Anyone who is paying attention would know that the reason for masks, distancing and disinfectant is that it has been determined that the virus spreads person to person by speech, sneezing or coughing and can be picked up from surfaces where its infectivity persists. Also, the virus can spread from person to person before symptoms appear.
He next complains that we do not know the true incidence of infection and mortality rate, which is true. The explanation, however, is that even though we have a sensitive test for virus RNA, the problems along the way have been production of reagents, having needed supplies, personnel and transport between patients and laboratories, a responsibility of government, not the scientific community. Thus Mr. Lowry misidentifies the cause of our issues with testing.
Finally, he is disturbed by how recommendations keep changing. We are in something akin to an experimental phase in dealing with this pandemic. As we learn more, we adapt and modify recommendations.
Firm conclusions, as well as drug therapy and vaccine development, are in the future.
As our president reverses the government’s own guidelines and as multiple states loosen restrictions while the infection rates rise, watch what happens to the death rate in May and June.
By contrast, New York State, the most severely affected, has a downward trajectory for infection rate, hospitalizations and mortality, and it’s ready to open up economically because science guides health decisions and its government implements what is needed.
ALLEN KAPLAN, MD
After the photograph of development on Johns Island in the May 3 Post and Courier and the letter to the editor on May 4 concerning flooding in Charleston, I can only wonder who does not understand why the Charleston area has ever-increasing flood issues and emergencies?
Just look at the picture: The very top shows pine and hardwood forest. Then 95% of the picture shows impervious surfaces of asphalt and home roofs with big ponds to catch runoff.
I suppose the ponds are the developer’s solution to flooding. Who really thinks this is sustainable?
Does anyone wonder who allowed this to happen? Do towns or counties granting permits to builders bear responsibility for homes lost to flooding?
Most know water flows downhill. If there is no hill, the water sits there until it’s absorbed or evaporates. If man attempts to divert the water, the ultimate outlet (the ocean with tides) must be considered.
In this area, there have always been natural waterways. Man would do well to study and use them to his advantage instead of covering them up or trying to change them.
Woods and lowlands are being cut and filled to make way for more development, for which planning has not been adequately done.
I do not think new residents will enjoy the results. Inadequate infrastructure, congested traffic, flooding and crowded schools are just a few of the major problems Lowcountry residents can expect in the foreseeable future.
I read with interest the May 6 commentary from Angela Simmons regarding all-absentee voting.
I agree with her 100%.
Voting this year should only be by a single method: absentee or some other similar procedure.
Computers are great, but we must recognize that many people do not have iPad-style tablets or computers and are not familiar with that technology. My concern is if the polls open, it will be hard to enforce social distancing as well as sanitizing the machines after every voter.
There are lots of common-sense issues that will arise, such as poll workers, bathrooms, long lines, especially if people stay 6 feet apart.
If we go the usual way, I predict that we will have the lowest voter turnout in many years. That would be unfortunate, particularly in a presidential election year.
Now is the time to anticipate this and get ahead of the curve.
Surely with today’s technology this can be worked out in a safe, orderly fashion.
A program like this will encourage older people to vote as long as the process is easily understood and simple.
The new normal is here, and we have to acknowledge it. Let’s get ahead of this problem, not behind it.
U.S. Highway 17
A May 5 Post and Courier article stated that the Treasury Department needed to borrow $2.99 trillion for the second quarter of this year.
I wonder what bank would loan the United States that amount of money considering that our debt is now just a hair under $25 trillion.
No bank I know of has that kind of money, so I guess we’ll just print it, cross our fingers and pray that a $5 bill will buy a loaf of bread in a couple of years.