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Letter: Reopening Va. isn't safe

Letter: Reopening Va. isn't safe

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In response to Governor Northam's "Phase One" reopening of most areas of Virginia, I maintain that there is no “safe reopening” that can occur at this point in the pandemic. Dr. Northam admitted that the state has to be ready for a potential surge in cases in response to the partial reopening. “Cases” are infants, children, and adults of all ages who become ill with COVID 19. “Safe” is not an adjective that applies to more people becoming infected, unwittingly spreading the virus to others before they become overtly sick, and pushing our health care system and its staff to their limits. At this point our local hospitals in the New River and Roanoke Valley areas have not been overwhelmed with COVID 19 patients. We need to maintain that status quo.

This premature and dangerous “reopening” is not in the best interest of our state or its citizens, and will surely translate into deaths of a special category of citizens who have no choice whether to shelter or not – our emergency services and hospital workers.

I find it shocking that our own governor, a physician, is promoting “reopening” when he knows full well that it will cost more lives.

Do we really want to test what it takes to totally overwhelm the capacity of our local healthcare systems? Jobs and the economy are undoubtedly important, but not at the expense of our stressed healthcare workers who are there for every citizen that needs treatment. We must stay “closed” for those who stay open and ready 24/7 to care for us!

Virginians’ lives are our most precious assets.



Smusz is retired from 27 years of medical practice in Emergency Medicine and Palliative Care. She lives in Catawba.

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