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Letters to the Editor: Can anything convince coronavirus skeptics that they’re wrong?

Joey Camp
Joey Camp, who has recovered from COVID-19, stands in front of a Waffle House in Cartersville, Ga., on March 23.
(Carmen Mandato / For The Times)

To the editor: One of the ironies of the coronavirus response is that if physical distancing and all the other measures work, people like Joey Camp, the unemployed cook in Georgia who recovered from COVID-19 and thinks we’re overreacting to the pandemic, will likely say, “See? It wasn’t that bad after all.”

Normally, it would be hard to measure success in the face of that, but since action is left largely to the states, when this is over, there should be data to show how different responses affected the spread.

In my state of 1.3 million, our government enacted bipartisan emergency legislation the week of March 16 to slow the spread and address the huge economic impact on a state with a large amount of hourly wage workers and where 98% of the businesses are considered small. On top of that, a major part of our economy relies on the hospitality industry and tourism.

Nonessential businesses have closed and the larger urban centers have stay-at-home orders. People are hurting, but the state is also trying to make sure people like Camp are taken care of. So far, Maine has been “lucky,” with about 300 confirmed cases. We know it will get worse.

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When it’s all over, maybe Maine and Georgia can compare curves and see whose approach worked best.

Maureen Milliken, Belgrade Lakes, Maine

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To the editor: While reporter Jenny Jarvie painted a good picture of what life is like for Camp and others in rural Georgia, she left out an important item: healthcare.

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How did Camp pay for his time in the emergency room, four days in the hospital and then isolation at the special quarantine site? How does he pay for his diabetes medication?

These important questions are not answered in an otherwise thoughtful article about our times.

Jim Burns, San Gabriel

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To the editor: Truly I do not mean to belittle Camp’s and so many other Americans’ present financial hardships, but would he still think we were overreacting to the pandemic if the breathing tube and ventilator that kept him alive for three days failed to save his life?

Bob Kahn, Pacific Palisades


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