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Brian Plummer quotes virologist David Marchant

Dear Editor,
We must learn to live with COVID-19. On August 9, 2020, there were 20,024,263 cases of COVID-19 worldwide and 773,995 deaths.

University of Alberta virologist David Marchant, who has spent his research life looking for a treatment for the dangerous respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), said that adding vaccines aren’t a certainty.

“I’m not optimistic that we’ll find a vaccine in the next few years because we have so little data on the coronavirus,” said Marchant, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Viral Pathogenesis.

“In fact, I propose that this virus will become endemic. Viruses aren’t things we can fight; they’re things you learn to live with, treat and mitigate,” he said.

I am convinced that COVID-19 will be with us for many years to come, and we must continue to live. We test, contact trace and quarantine infected persons, not uninfected persons. Thinking lockdown, wearing masks and social distancing will stop the spread is Utopian; it might slow it down, but that is still not conclusive.

Marchant further said, “The fight against COVID-19 is a marathon, not a sprint. We must do actions we can sustain. Lockdown has a detrimental effect on the economy and must be used surgically, if at all. Strategic testing and quarantining infected persons are more effective than locking down an entire country or section of a country.

“Because testing is expensive and time-consuming, is no reason not to do it. It costs far more in economic loss than to spend the time and resources on testing and quarantining infecting persons. Thousands have lost their jobs because of lockdown and other COVID-19 practices. This practice of rampant lockdown is penny-wise and pound-foolish. Life must go on, although I do not like wearing a mask because of the long-term health risk due to breathing in too much carbon dioxide and viral load. It is better than this lockdown.

“Social distancing in open air is uncertain, because the breeze blows the droplets far and one cannot calculate the optimal distance. I have run several mathematical models, and it has too much variables. The processing power of my laptop is too small.

“Practicing good hygiene always contributes to good health. Billionaires in the US have increased their wealth by US$637 billion since March, 2020. It is not the pandemic, but government actions that cause unnecessary hardship on the most vulnerable.

“It can be handled differently. The lockdown hurts the poor the most, and government aid is usually politically biased and inadequate. Eventually, government will have to increase taxes and make spending cuts, and the poor will be disproportionally affected. Protect lives by quarantining the infected, not the healthy.”

“We must protect the vulnerable such as the elderly and people with other illnesses, such as hypertension and diabetes,” he said.

“Wealth is not about having a lot of money; it’s about having a lot of options.” — Chris Rock

Yours truly,
Brian Ellis Plummer

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