Letter: Time to Consider

Letter to the Editor

Closing beaches, trails and most of our economy is really stupid but, because of the lack of test kits, it’s better than the alternative. If everyone had been tested quickly, with positives quarantined, the rest of the country could be back at work. But mistakes like New York not replenishing the 1,400 ventilators as planned, or California dropping plans for 100,000 additional hospital beds for emergencies can be addressed later. Maybe the COVID-19 after action report won’t be a white wash like the Woolsey report.

There are positives. Traffic on PCH is more like the 1970s. The panic over toilet paper seems over. Costco on Saturday had no lines and people were leaving with the big packs of paper towels. Because of the stay at home/social distancing/wash our hands regime, the number of deaths from flu will be on the low side of normal (around 20,000 now—the high estimate was 64,000). And when else do you have time to binge watch episodes of “Gunsmoke” or phone second cousins? Seriously, we see many businesses adapting to help those who are suffering. Our own CERT members have been activated to distribute information around town. Watch for the posters on local businesses.

This plague will pass and hopefully we will learn from it. A month is not that long. I believe we are near the peak of actual infections. Don’t be surprised that reported cases will increase since there is a 12-day lag time between actual vs. reported infections. (The same was true in China, South Korea and other countries.)

We have time to consider what’s truly important. Many of our churches and temples have streaming services and YouTube and Facebook postings. Those of us who are believers are praying for our country and people stricken. Those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength, they will rise up and fly on the wind like on wings of eagles. 

Hopefully this will be a wakeup call for all of us, unlike H1N1 in 2009, which also came out of so-called wet markets in China. What price are we really paying for all the “cheap” stuff that put American factory workers out of work? Is it wise to source critical products like antibiotics from a totalitarian regime bent on dominance, using trillions of American dollars to build their military?

Sadly, we did not learn from the H1N1 pandemic. But it is not too late to learn from the 2018 Woolsey disaster. In a few short months, Malibu will again face fires driven by Santa Ana winds. Since we’re mostly homebound, this is a perfect time to inspect and harden our homes so they won’t burn next fall. The city’s program is on hold for now, but there is a lot you can do on your own to prepare. Just Google “hardening your home from embers.” Use the city inspections to check your work. And remember to support local restaurants who offer take out.

Scott Dittrich