The criteria must include ready, widespread availability of testing, ample supplies of masks and other protective equipment for healthcare workers, a safe and effective vaccine, and a readiness to ban gatherings of any size if need be.
Right now there is no vaccine, and we’re not even sure of what kind of immunity is conferred by an infection. Testing remains limited, and when we go out, we wear homemade masks, which is probably better than nothing at all.
Supermarket shelves are still bereft of toilet paper, gloves and sanitizing wipes. I find a new shortage of something with every trip. The mighty United States cannot even find a way to transport produce and milk from farm to market, so it rots in the field or is poured down the drain.
“Open the economy?” We can’t even manage the current crisis.
David Middleton, Rancho Mirage
To the editor: Hopefully, it’s true that the intensity of the COVID-19 pandemic in California is waning for now.
For the pandemic to come to an end, three requirements must be met. First, there has to be rapid and reliable testing to determine who might be carrying the virus. Second, there needs to be an effective treatment for people who get sick. Finally, we need an effective vaccine with minimal side effects to become available.
For this to happen, the much-maligned drug companies will be asked to provide solutions. The staff is there, and the dedication is obvious.
Nelson Marans, New York
To the editor: Proclaiming that the economy will open on some arbitrary date is foolish, because Americans won’t go back to malls, movie theaters and restaurants until we feel safe. It’s putting the cart before the horse.
Make tests widely available and take other measures to protect the public, and then I will be very happy to go to some of my favorite spots once again, albeit with a mask.
Glenna Matthews, Laguna Beach
To the editor: I do not understand how we can supposedly restart the economy in much of the United States without including the rest of the world.
It seems to me that the economies of the world are intertwined, and we won’t really get anywhere without including the rest.
Nathan Dwiri, Henderson, Nev.