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We did not need to shut the economy down in response to COVID-19 | Letters

Here’s what readers are saying in Tuesday’s letters to the editor.

We didn’t need to shut down

To reopen, pry gently | May 3

In hindsight, we should have done very little in response to COVID-19, certainly not shut the economy down. Other than take steps to safeguard vulnerable people, the goal should have been to develop herd immunity. We should have wanted it to spread fast. It would be interesting to know how many of those who had the coronavirus had no or only mild symptoms, and how many COVID-19 deaths were really that. I think the overwhelming majority, nearly all of them, are of people whoB had underlying co-morbidities.

The number of new cases means nothing. Were they asymptomatic, had mild symptoms or what? Would we even know about them but for increased testing?

Ernest Lane, Trinity

Be careful with new vaccine

Race for a vaccine is ‘unprecedented’ | May 3

Neal Browning receives a shot in the first-stage study of a potential vaccine for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, March 16, 2020, at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle. [TED S. WARREN | AP]

For those people seeking the Food and Drug Administration to fast track a vaccine for the current pandemic, I would urge them to remember the thalidomide tragedy of the late 1950s when pregnant women were given a medication to treat morning sickness, which led to hundreds of babies being born with severely deformed limbs and other terrible conditions. I realize that this was not a viral situation but a situation where a substance which followed all the requirements at the time produced tragic results. Do not cut corners.

Dennis Thackray, St. Petersburg

Salons should be reopened

Stay-at-home orders to ease on Monday | April 30

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, second from left, speaks during a discussion about opening businesses such as barber shops and nail and hair salons. [JOHN RAOUX | AP]

I agree with Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decision to re-open our state with caution. Allowing retail stores, restaurants, museums, libraries, state parks and beaches to re-open with strict guidelines makes sense. However, Phase One keeps salons, barber shops, gyms and movie theaters closed. While I understand his struggle to reopen the state and keep Floridians safe, I do not support his plan to keep salons and barber shops closed. What do salons and gyms have in common? Nothing. Women and men do not grunt, sweat or breathe heavily in a salon. How are salons and movie theaters similar? They are not. A typical salon has five to 10 staff members and up to 10 clients at a time; a movie theater houses 200-to-300 people per movie showing. There is no logical correlation between the two businesses. The governor could have imposed the same restrictions on salons that he enacted on restaurants and retail stores. Salon owners know that in order to bring their customers back, they must implement stringent, hygienic protocol: enforced wearing of masks by staff and clients; constant cleaning of shared spaces; and limited capacity. Gov. DeSantis needs to re-evaluate his decision to keep salons and barber shops closed and reopen these businesses as soon as possible.

K. Caminiti, St. Petersburg

Opening is really the norm

To reopen, pry gently | May 3

You say that opening stores is an experiment. Actually, closing was the experiment. Opening stores is the norm. You questioned seven doctors. You failed to mention how many economists.

James Murphy, New Port Richey