I and many Arizonans were extremely disappointed at Governor Ducey’s decision to extend his stay-at-home order and what we saw as a failure to show prudent leadership. In his statements, the governor reported that the number of available beds, ICU beds and ventilators in Arizona was high. He reported that only a small percentage of occupied beds were being used for coronavirus patients. Yet, he minimized this data as showing “no trend” of improvement!
Almost every hospital in the state has capacity to handle any “surge,” which hasn’t materialized and the likelihood of which is shrinking with each passing day. There have been several recent days with no deaths in Arizona attributable to coronavirus. Isn’t that a trend?
For weeks, many Arizona hospitals have been running at about 50 percent capacity and have suffered huge financial losses. Many hospital employees are being furloughed and/or having their hours cut, and/or being forced to take mandatory vacation days. Economic hardship has impacted countless other businesses and individuals. What about this trend?
While we rightfully mourn the loss of those who have died from coronavirus, don’t we also recognize the greater numbers who have been victims of heart disease, accidents, suicide, drug overdose? Don’t we mourn the economic hardship induced by and which will worsen from the extension of the stay-at-home strategy?
New scientific, real-time data shows the death rate from coronavirus is actually close to that of seasonal influenza. Initial projections were exaggerated. Media hype was misguided. We must now consider all aspects of the outbreak. Governor Ducey should adopt a bold, evidence-based direction and join those of us who want to fix the problem, to stop running scared, to help the businesses and people who need help, and to stop the “cure” from being worse than the disease.