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Letter: Yes, we are still in a pandemic

By Narima Lopes and Cori Wilbur

As places open up, we are faced with the worst part of the coronavirus pandemic yet, because of the increased mobility of the population.

According to Dr. Andrea LaCroix, Chief of Epidemiology at UCSD, we are at the end of the beginning of the pandemic. She acknowledged that the disease does manifest more severely in older individuals, however, she emphasized that we all need to still be careful.

As of July 7, NBC news reports that more than 100,000 people have died in the United States averaging about 1000 deaths each day due to coronavirus.

This is an alarmingly high number and should be meaningful enough for all of us to take this pandemic seriously. Currently, San Diego County has about 11,000 confirmed cases and a little over 350 deaths.

The future path of this pandemic is unknown. We were able to flatten the curve because of the lockdown, but as businesses opened-up, we now have another spike. So, the choice is ours whether we stay at home most of the time and protect ourselves and not depend on the government to tell us to do that or we continue to spread the virus, which could lead to another lockdown.

Dr. La Croix stressed the importance of still practicing social distancing until effective treatments and vaccines are in place.

There are two main ways we know that the virus spreads: human to human transmission and contact with secretion on surfaces. Dr. LaCroix stated that the latter seems to be what most people worry about when we should be focused on the former. Avoiding close human contact is much more important than wiping down groceries.

To stay safe, Dr. LaCroix reiterated the need to stay home as much as possible, especially if you are over 50 or have a preexisting condition, and if you must go to a restaurant, eat outside, and always wear a mask when you leave the house. It is really a shame that mask-wearing and the epidemic itself have been so politicized.

Neighboring counties should institute a similar plan to mask-wearing and social-distancing, otherwise, the virus will be spread by visitors from neighboring towns.

Frequently, when you have large groups of people saying ‘I don’t want to do that, that’s too inconvenient for me, you can’t make me do that,’ their behavior affects everybody” Since this is a social pandemic, we need to get everybody on board to care about each other.

This is the only way to defeat the virus.

Narima Lopes & Cori Wilbur are members of the Encinitas & North Coast Democratic Club