I became a family physician because I wanted to treat people, not diseases. That notion has never been more true than it is now.

Americans are sitting back and accepting “professional” opinions and “advice” in regard to this pandemic. We are watching our families struggle to pay bills, keep their jobs, maintain their businesses, and deal with the stress and fear of the unknown. No one has the perfect solution for a novel virus that is also a pandemic; however, I can tell you that shutting down businesses and cities while stopping life as we know it is not the answer at this point. No one here is saying social distancing and quarantining for a time wasn’t necessary.

We needed to prepare for the worst, hope for the best, and collect more data on the virus, including mortality rate, incubation, transmission, etc. We now have sufficient data and we know the current treatment is actually, worse than the disease. We have watched NYC and other cities get turned upside down. Even through this, NYC shows a mortality rate (<1%) similar to the influenza. We have also watched Sweden stay open and go against the status quo, with the exception to large events (concerts and sporting events). The results are very similar to other countries in regards to the infection rate. What does this say about “shelter in place” and quarantining efforts? In any other virus (measles, influenza, Zika, Ebola), we tell the vulnerable and symptomatic patients to quarantine, and this virus should be no different.

Let's get back focusing on people and not placing all the focus on the disease. COVID-19 is serious, but so is anxiety, depression, and suicide. I am calling on all governors to open up their states today. We need to reclaim our lives and no longer live in fear. Not all businesses will view it as a “so-called” safe measure; however, it should be their decision.

Trust Americans to make wise decisions, practice safe precautions, and use commonsense. Allow America to take care of themselves and rid this country of fear.

Chad Williamson,

DeKalb MD, Fort Payne

Send letters to the Times-Journal by writing P.O. Box 680349, Fort Payne, AL 35968. Fax 256-845-7459. Email emily.kirby @times-journal.com.

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