Dear Governor Little:
Our state has made it through winter. The grass is green, calves dot the landscape, the peas have sprouted in the garden, and birds are happily nesting. Instead of focusing on illness, death, and testing 2,000 people a month for COVID-19, isn’t it time to focus on love, laughter, and life?
Butterflies and barbecues
Hummingbirds, hikes, and hop scotch
Gummy bears, golf, and goldfish
Wagon rides, wildflowers, and watermelon
Rodeos, the county fair, and ice cream cones
Softball, swings, and singing
Trampolines and tadpoles
Campfires and kittens
HOPE AND HAPPINESS
“Jesus said … ‘I have come that they might have life and have it in abundance.'” (John 10:7, 10)
May 23, 2020
Dear Governor Little:
The following discussion is based on data reported by KTVB.
I am writing because there was a moderate “spike” in COVID-19 confirmed and probable cases yesterday (from an average of about 25 per day spiking up to 58) and I am concerned you might return the state to Phase I because you are basing phased opening on a declining incidence of cases in the whole state. This approach has three major problems.
First, based on medical research articles I have read, COVID-19 tests have proven unreliable, giving false positive results. A person can test positive based on a fractional part of the virus DNA strand being present, when the whole virus must be intact in order to replicate. It is thus distinctly possible that supposedly asymptomatic “positive test” cases are not infected or carriers of the illness! In addition, I have read that a positive result can be associated with numerous illnesses, not just COVID-19. Please secure an Idaho test kit’s packaging (all types of tests that are being used) and read for yourselves the range of illnesses that a “positive” result can indicate. Testing unreliability would mean Idaho actually has fewer cases of COVID-19 than reported. [Note: It is unclear what a “probable” case is; hopefully those numbers are actually confirmed (or dropped) at some point.]
Second, your state-wide approach unfairly penalizes counties that have had and still have very low or ZERO incidence of the virus. Eleven counties still have zero reported cases. Twelve counties have had fewer than 10 reported cases. Twelve counties have had from 11-31 cases. I ask you to fully re-open all thirty-five of these counties immediately — especially if a county has had no positive test COVID-19 symptom-confirmed cases in the last 14 days. (Two counties have had 66-72 cases and zero deaths, and may also be ready to re-open fully.) Then please work separately with the five counties that have had the vast majority of cases and deaths, to design county-specific re-opening protocol and parameters.
Third, the incidence of the virus does not warrant a shutdown except in counties where current mortality or infection rates exceed what would be “normal” for other fever-related long term illnesses that can have very serious symptoms (strep throat, mono, walking pneumonia, pneumonia, influenza, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, etc.). [I do not know the Idaho rates for those illnesses.] The KTVB site data indicate these current rates for COVID-19 in Idaho:
- 2 % incidence (4,027 confirmed and probable cases out of a 1.7 million population)
- 2% mortality rate (79 deaths out of 4,027 COVID-19 cases)
- .005% mortality rate – all causes (79 deaths out of the 1.7 million general population)
Please ask for co-morbidity factor statistics related to these 79 deaths. Did COVID-19 alone cause the death, or was it a factor added to a history of major health concerns? Please also start to emphasize that 98% of cases have recovered! Finally, please research and report the mortality statistics for other causes of death in Idaho to see how the .005% mortality rate for COVID-19 related deaths compares with the full range of health-related and accidental deaths (e.g., heart attack, liver failure, drowning, car accidents) and abortion (which is totally preventable).
Salmon, Idaho (Lemhi County)