blooming desert
OP/ED

COVID-19 is a dangerous virus, especially to the elderly and those with underlying illnesses. That said, to the rest of the population, if infected, expect to be sick and recover. As with any respiratory virus, you will be contagious, so stay away from crowds, lay low at home, and protect your family from your germs.

However, the “cure” for stopping COVID-19 transmission has already had a fatality – our economy. On a national level, the Stock market pumped the brakes within seconds of opening Monday morning as the bottom fell out. Locally, the non-grocery store shops are empty as are the streets. The one size fit from Sacramento is disastrous to our Valley.  Which local bar holds 50 people? Few restaurants can afford to halve their permitted occupancy. The stores stocked with water, toilet paper, and disinfectant are filled with people all within close proximity of each other reaching for those now-sacred items. How is that working out?

We should be told the truth, how contagious the virus is, health rules to follow, and let us make decisions. Will all make good decisions? No. But even with the nanny-state having us on lockdown, those making bad decisions will continue to do so.

Case in point, those hoarding toilet paper for a respiratory disease. As others price gouge. Which is illegal in California during emergencies for anyone raising the price more than 10 percent. One can be heavily fined and/or imprisoned for such conduct. Diapers, cases of water, bleach, TP, are all advertised at confiscatory prices by certain dishonest persons. Report those taking advantage to the authorities.

Keeping all in perspective, this flu season has been bad with 30 to 40 million confirmed cases and 20 to 40 thousand deaths in the U.S. So far, the Coronavirus has a total of 3813 confirmed cases and 68 deaths all according to the Center for Disease Control. Now with tests being distributed in mass quantities, the confirmed cases are expected to increase and the government expects the worse is yet to come, in terms of numbers.

This will pass. Bottom line, don't panic. Take precautions, but use common sense. If you're sick, stay home. Check on your elderly neighbors. Help that friend in need.

We in the Valley will soon be enjoying warmer days along with our abundant sunshine and fresh air, both natural disinfectants.  Go outside with your family, explore the beautiful desert, ride bikes, hike, and don’t fall prey to the panic. We are Imperial Valleyites and we are strong.

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