Collective steps necessary to fight covid pandemic

The recent editorial observing we are far from done with covid-19 is certainly correct (“Even after 1 million deaths, covid fight isn’t over,” The Herald, May 17). Rather than continuing to “fight,” though, we have instead capitulated to those who deny this reality. As was pointed out, there are individual actions we can take to minimize our own risk, but collective action is the only way to ultimately get this pandemic under control.

What actions should be taken? First, a new “warp speed” effort to develop better vaccines to both address the evolving virus and simplify delivery, such as nasal vaccines. Next, an instant “breathalyzer” covid test would enormously improve the ability to test people at point of entry to large events and avoid them being the source of another super spreader event.

Last, now that we clearly understand covid infects through the air (think smoke), we need both monitoring and regulation of air quality for indoor spaces. Air changes are the key. Monitors are a good proxy for how stale, and therefore potentially infectious, shared air is. A simple graphic that reflects air quality, like the smiley or frowning food safety faces the public health department requires, should also be developed for all public indoor spaces.

These actions alone would signal we are seriously fighting this pandemic. Sadly, at the moment, a combination of human nature and cynical political obstruction is blocking any further action.

Christian Saether


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