Last week Kathy and I called for the mayor and council majority to follow the recommendations of the medical community to close restaurants and bars to on-premises service.
We urged Kathy’s colleagues to step up to the plate and act immediately to contain the spread of the virus.
While that didn’t happen fortunately the governor overrode the mayor and issued an executive order requiring restaurants in Arizona counties with confirmed COVID-19 cases (which includes Maricopa County) to provide dine-out options only, and that all bars, gyms and movie theaters in those counties must close.
Most readers reacted positively to our call. But several asked a very pertinent question, “why are we taking these drastic (and costly) measures when we don’t do the same every year for the regular seasonal flu?”
So, I want to let everyone know what the medical community has to say about the differences between the two diseases.
The first and most obvious difference is the immunity level of the general population. Every year tens of millions of Americans get flu shots, so there is a tremendous reservoir of immunity to the seasonal flu.
Currently there is no vaccine for COVID-19, and no human immune system had seen this virus before November, so no human has any natural immunity to it.
Bottom line, the immunity level of the general population to COVID-19 is zero.
Some other differences:
With these facts in mind it makes sense to implement some limited “social distancing” measures to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Yes, these measures will have a negative impact on businesses --- Kathy and I are already personally feeling the pain in my flight instruction business and in my campaign for mayor, where social distancing has made fundraising and collecting signatures on my nominating petitions extremely difficult. But an overwhelmed health care system and thousands of needless deaths would be far worse.
So, until the medical community gets a better handle on preventing and treating COVID-19 I believe we should take reasonable and limited measures to slow the spread of this disease.
The COVID-19 pandemic has suddenly changed the way all of us look at things.
Those parts of our lives that are most important to us --- family and friends --- have taken the front row center stage over all those things we previously may have stressed about but now somehow don’t seem quite so important.
To that end, both Kathy and I ask that you take care of yourselves, be safe, and stay healthy.
For additional authoritative information regarding COVID-19 go to www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.
Editor’s Note: Bob Littlefield is a former three-term Scottsdale City Councilman and is running for Mayor. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and his web site is www.boblittlefield.com.