1. Opinion

My symptomatic granddaughter was not tested for coronavirus so we’ll never know if she was a carrier

Here’s what readers are saying in Thursday’s letters to the editor.
The headquarters for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. [RON HARRIS  |  AP]
The headquarters for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. [RON HARRIS | AP]

If you don’t test, you don’t know


When President Donald Trump toured the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, he said there were plenty of “beautiful, perfect” tests available and that “anyone who wants a test can get a test.” Last week it was reported that the CDC had broadened its testing standards so more people could be tested. Unfortunately, the test is not readily available to everyone who may be infected. This means the numbers being reported about infection rates are likely inaccurate.

Case in point: My 9-year-old granddaughter lives in Oregon, a state with 19 reported cases. An administrator in her school district tested positive for coronavirus. The school where his office is located was shut down. However, students from several other schools (including my granddaughter) go to that school for an after-school program. A few days ago, my granddaughter spiked a fever and developed a cough. We know those are two of the classic symptoms of COVID-19.

Her parents took her to the doctor, but she did not meet all the criteria for testing. I’m not sure which criteria she didn’t meet. The CDC says “clinicians should use their judgment to determine if a patient has signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19 and whether the patient should be tested.” The doctor said that due to her age and overall health, my granddaughter will recover and there is nothing he would do differently even if he had confirmation of COVID-19. She should rest, get plenty of fluids, take cough medicine and something to reduce her fever.

We will never know if my granddaughter had COVID-19. Hopefully, she did not and has not infected anyone else. But we also don’t know the true spread of this disease as she was not tested.

Jenni Casale, Palmetto

Stay safe, vote by mail

Wearing gloves, a King County Election worker collect ballots from a drop box in the Washington State primary, on March 10, 2020. [JOHN FROSCHAUER | AP]

Worried about hygiene at the polls? Vote by mail, problem solved. You can request a mail ballot from the supervisor of elections office online, by phone, e-mail, fax, in writing or in person. You will receive a ballot three to four weeks before the election, plenty of time to research any candidate or issue you are not familiar with to make a better-informed decision. You will have no concerns with work schedule or long lines at the polls. Four states now have all vote-by-mail elections, and a majority of states now offer voting by mail without specific excuses to do so. It is the direction we’re headed for so many good reasons. Make your life easier, vote by mail.

Dave Loeffert, Dunedin

Snowbirds, stay home!

Tourists pack Clearwater Beach.

Those who continue to encourage visitors to come to Florida are risking the lives of our huge elderly population ­— people like me. Like many elderly people, I have a chronic medical condition. I realize that many people here make a living from tourists, but that is far less important than the health of our residents, especially our vulnerable elderly residents, like me. I have one child, who lives in another country (Australia). I would like to live long enough to see her again. Please, please do something to stop non-residents, all of them, from entering our state, at least for the next three months. I urge the governor and the Legislature to take action to keep non-residents out. We do not want them. Some businesses may think they need them. Health is more important.

Julie Thomas, Holiday

Calm down on a cruise

Jana Harrelson, left, Ronny Young, and Karla Weston, right, all of Port St. Joe, Florida, disembark from the Caribbean Princess at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., March 11, 2020. [JOE CAVARETTA | AP]

Perhaps all those complaining about constant media coverage of coronavirus and that the fear of it is overblown should just relax and book a cruise.

Robert Parissi, Tampa

To our Readers,
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