LETTER: The U.S. Was Not Prepared For Pandemic

The United States was not prepared for this pandemic, which left us confused and less prepared as to the seriousness of this deadly global pandemic. This is not the time for pandemonium. Remember, nothing brings us together more than a disaster.

We have to admit that America’s first reaction was poor, to say the very least, with our governor resisting a lockdown, stating it would serve no useful purpose, then abruptly reversing his decision recently. We all know that lockdowns, self isolation and social distancing not only stop the spread of this coronavirus, but also saves lives. The lack of testing for COVID-19 is also absolutely disgraceful.

Panic buying is causing shortages in the stores. If you consume six oranges per week, why buy 36? Likewise, if you consume a dozen eggs per week, why buy 10 dozen? The same goes for water and toilet paper.

We live in a capitalist country, but we should never put wealth before our health, playing politics with American lives. Many lessons should be learned from this pandemic.

Kudos to all first responders, caregivers and everyone who is playing their part to minimize illness and fatality from the coronavirus. We will get through this and emerge a stronger more united nation.

Many third world countries were proactive and not reactive, like some first world countries. Jamaica, for example, recorded the first case on March 10 and despite relying heavily on tourism, the government immediately restricted the movement of tourists, enforced quarantines for all new arrivals, canceled schools and all upcoming events, closed all non-essential businesses and implemented a island wide curfew. Those actions were applauded by the World Health Organization.

Florida, like Jamaica, relies heavily on tourism, yet we all let spring break go ahead? Sadly, price gouging is taking place, and I urge all residents to call the hotline at (866) 966-7226 and report any price gouging.

I cannot begin to fathom what is happening in our beloved country and around the world. New York, the city that never sleeps, is in a coma, and many vibrant states have been turned into virtual ghost towns. I firmly believe it will all be over by June. Unfortunately, many more Americans will have to suffer and many more will die, but God bless America, and we surely will get by.

Karl Witter, The Acreage