Letter: Facts about COVID-19 contrary to writer’s claims

Editor,

I read the letters to the editor with great enthusiasm for I often gain insights that I haven’t found elsewhere. Sometimes I’m entertained by people’s opinions, and sometimes outraged. I keep in mind that all are entitled to opinions, even when quite contrary to the facts.

When people start making up facts, however, I feel the need to speak out.

Mr. Wilferth’s claim that “the facts have shown that, after a few months, we knew that for people under the age of 70 the virus was not lethal and most people could continue their lives with just a few precautions” is one such fabrication.

In September, Amnesty International analysis revealed that more than 7,000 health workers had died worldwide from COVID-19, with at least 1,320 of those in the U.S. The CDC’s U.S. number is lower — 1,121, but officials there admit their numbers are incomplete.

Hundreds of those health workers were under 70, Mr. Wilferth. Kaiser reported in August that their database gave the median age of health care worker deaths from COVID-19 at 57.

“Median” means half were younger than 57.

I’m sure even just on Whidbey Island we can generate local knowledge of dozens of people under 70 who have died from COVID-19. I’ll start by mentioning Grace Anastasia Mathew, who grew up here on Whidbey and died in May at age 24.

Even for those who survive, researchers estimate about 10 percent of COVID-19 patients become long haulers — those whose symptoms last weeks or months. Extreme fatigue, difficulty breathing, body aches and more aren’t as big an impact as death, but they certainly affect quality of life, and many younger than 70 are affected.

This is not a disease to dismiss as having a minor impact.

We’re all devastated by the shutdown, and if you want to make a case that it shouldn’t be continued, I’m listening. But please come up with better arguments. Some based on facts.

Nancy Hepp

Clinton

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