Letter to the Editor: Further delay will cost more sickness and death

To the Editor:

Iowa has the highest infection rate in the U.S. with COVID-19. We are all retired Decorah, Iowa family physicians. We have read extensively about this pandemic since it began. We trust the websites www.cidrap.umn.edu and www.globalepidemics.org.

The globalepidemics.org website has real-time, color-coded infection levels for each county of the U.S. The color codes are linked to treatments. Iowa is designated red, the highest infection rate.

You will see at this site that Iowa needs a stay at home order to be given by our governor in order to knock this virus down far enough to control. Otherwise, with our schools and colleges open, and Labor Day weekend coming, the infection will further spread. It is critical that we do not overwhelm our hospitals.

Governor Reynolds appears frozen, unable to order Iowans (other than essential workers) to stay at home for the approximately six weeks it will take to drive the COVID-19 infections down low enough to be held there by testing, contact tracing and isolation. We must help our neighbors while this happens. New York has shown this can be done.

No one wants another stay at home order, but Iowa’s forest fire of COVID-19 is still burning hot and uncontrolled. The virus does not care what we feel. If Governor Reynolds is unable to do this, she needs to step aside and let our counties act to save Iowans’ lives. Further delay will cost more sickness and death.

We all have certain rights, but the right not to get sick and die from COVID-19 is very important. A statewide mask ordinance and closing bars would help, but is not enough. Please call and tell her that this is an emergency at 515-281-5211. Vaccines are coming, but we need to stay safe until then. Stay well.

Kevin Sand, MD
David Bakken. MD
Max Quaas, MD

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