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On coronavirus, I’ve done the math and I don’t like it | Letters

Here’s what readers are saying in Friday’s letters to the editor.
A public service announcement about coronavirus prevention is displayed on an electronic traffic message board as an ambulance travels northbound on Chicago's Dan Ryan Expressway, March 19, 2020. [CHARLES REX ARBOGAST  |  AP]
A public service announcement about coronavirus prevention is displayed on an electronic traffic message board as an ambulance travels northbound on Chicago's Dan Ryan Expressway, March 19, 2020. [CHARLES REX ARBOGAST | AP]

The math adds up—quickly


The people out there who want to compare the coronavirus pandemic to the odds of dying of car accidents, lightning strikes, shark attacks, etc., should understand that those things are all accidents and out of our control. Our response to the coronavirus is within our control. But our government has botched it, and now we have to play catch up. Not enough testing. A shortage of medical supplies.

People are panicked because we are not getting a clear directive from the federal government, leading local leaders to set the rules. Asia and Europe are weeks ahead of us to give us some clues. Look at the difference in case numbers and deaths in different countries related to their response to the pandemic. Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea responses: good. Most European countries’ responses: bad. Look at Italy with 475 deaths in 24 hours. Compare their population to ours — 60 million to 330 million — and do the math (330 divided by 60 times 475). That yields an equivalent of 2,600 deaths in one day in the United States in upcoming weeks.

The real problem is, people who do not feel sick can pass along the virus. It is a new virus, so no one has natural immunity. Social distancing will not stop the spread of infection, but it hopefully will slow the spread so as not to overwhelm our health-care system. The life you save will be someone’s grandmother, father, brother, child, neighbor or friend.

Please educate yourself and think of others when you make decisions about your behavior. Don’t panic, but make informed decisions. People should get their knowledge from a reliable source. I’m betting on the scientists and doctors. I also subscribe to the Tampa Bay Times. Most of us will get through this, but think of those who may not. Are they preventable deaths?

Meg Banitch, Gulfport

The lives you may save

People visit Clearwater Beach, March 18, 2020, at sunset where city officials have ordered all its public beaches to close for at least two weeks beginning at 6 a.m. on March 23 to help promote social distancing and limit the spread of coronavirus. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times]

Watching the young folks jam our beaches and hang all over each other during spring break is a scary sight. We’ve all been young and indestructible and fatalistic. I understand that, and so I do not mean to judge in any way.

We understand that the young are not worried because they are young and healthy. But how would they feel if they came into contact with the coronavirus here at spring break and go home and infect one of their older relatives or friends? What if their granny dies because they decided spring break was so important? I probably would be doing just what they are doing. Most folks need help with decision-making at that age. Walks on the beach are a way to preserve a quarantined society’s sanity. Simply maintain the six-foot social distancing.

Lee Nolan, St. Petersburg

Toilet paper and the greedy

The Northeast Shopping Center Publix had the entire isle of paper goods, which included paper towels and toilet paper, cleared out by customers at the end of the day Sunday, March 15, 2020. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]

In the last week, we’ve been able to identify the greedy from their carts full of hand sanitizer, toilet paper, wipes, soap and other items. I call for all stores to not take any returns on these items once things calm down. Let the greedy be stuck with all the stuff they’ve prevented other people from being able to buy.

John Marretta, Port Richey

Einstein with the football

How did Bucs land Brady? | March 18

In this Dec. 15, 2019, photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady waves to the crowd after an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Cincinnati. [FRANK VICTORES | AP]

Great job by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in landing quarterback Tom Brady! It’s like being in high school and having a guy named Albert Einstein transfer in and join the math team. New quarterback, new uniforms and the Super Bowl in Tampa. The stars are aligned.

Rich Lynch, North Redington Beach

To our Readers,
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