The decision to “close the economy” was made on the advice of medical and public health professionals based on data, knowledge and experience, but tempered by uncertainty. The epidemiological data are nevertheless quite clear that limiting public interaction has reduced the potential number of cases and deaths.

By contrast, however, the calls to reopen now — whatever that means — are for the most part based on misunderstood economics, public health ignorance, political interests and/or ideology.

Saying that everything is fine because the health-care system can now handle any additional spike in cases is like saying that GM could have manufactured enough iron lungs so there was no need to have developed a vaccine against polio.

Listen to the public health experts (Dr. Anthoy Fauci: “We’re still knee deep in the first wave.”) and not the politicians (“If we didn’t do testing, we wouldn’t have all those cases.”). Only when the political leaders finally agree with the public health experts should they be listened to.

Joseph Morales M.D.

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I want to thank Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen for being one of the only advocates for working men and women in Santa Barbara County. I liked his description of “offices where ‘nonessential’ people do ‘nonessential’ work for ‘nonessential’ pay” in his July 17 column, “Gavin Newsom Puts Most of California Back on COVID-19 Lockdown.”

My husband was one of those people at one of those companies. His company closed permanently last week and he had to apply for unemployment for the first time in his 40-year career.

I don’t know what we’re going to do now, but his work was not “nonessential” to us.

D. Swearingen

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With coronavirus infections out of control after corporations and big business foolishly lobbied so hard to end the stay-at-home order in California, I hope that our elected officials will realize they are only interested in the almighty dollar and not the public’s health.

It’s time to start listening to science and not business. My life is worth more than their profits.

Mary Peters
Santa Barbara

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Regarding Noozhawk’s July 15 article, “Actor Orlando Bloom Seeks Public’s Help in Finding Missing Dog in Montecito,” was it a slow news day?

I love Noozhawk and love dogs. I am also a fan of Orlando Bloom. But honestly, how is it front page news that his pet is missing? Talk about special treatment for celebrities.

Maybe tomorrow you can promote a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for Oprah Winfrey’s stubbed toe, or help Ellen DeGeneres track down the valet who scratched her car while parking at the Biltmore.

Thanks for all you do for our community! Just sent you guys a donation.

Elizabeth Nebb Owen
Santa Barbara

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Seriously, Noozhawk? Orlando Bloom’s lost dog is the best you can do for news in my morning A.M. Report? The dog rescued from the drain pipe (“Firefighters Rescue Dog Lost for 30 Days from Storm Drain at UCSB”) at least had some drama.

Jay Fuller

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I rarely post anything on social media, much less anything political, but I’m feeling the need to get this off my chest and out there.

I teach our most vulnerable students as a special day class teacher at Hope Elementary School in Santa Barbara. These students will likely not wear a mask and will likely not allow my staff and me to keep our own masks on as it won’t allow them to see our faces, our mouths particularly, and simply aren’t the norm. They won’t like it and likely won’t tolerate it.

Most of my students have severe sensory challenges. Most of my students have chronic health complications. Most are nonverbal and can’t even tell us if they don’t feel well. Most chew and/or suck on things (their shirts, fingers, toys, chewy objects designed to meet this need).

Most of my students do not have self-care and hygiene skills and will cough, sneeze, spit, pick their noses or blow them onto the table or nearest surface (including us, their teachers). My class is known to lick surfaces and touch things (and each other) most of us wouldn’t dare.

We are face to face with bodily fluids all day long and no safety measures will prevent that in the classroom (and across a school campus).

I love these kids. I love my staff. I’m asking you, honestly, are we safe?

Here’s the real issue, my students can’t learn remotely, or it’s ineffective at best. We’re a hands-on and up-close population. We need manipulatives. We need hand-over-hand prompting. We need hugs and close proximity.

The families of my students need help and support. Dare I say, they need a break! I know this personally as a special-needs parent as well. We need to be in a classroom. But I ask once again, are we safe?

Should immune-suppressed teachers or staff members over age 60 be forced to quit their jobs to avoid the risk? Should public school only be for the healthy? Some things to consider.

Lizabeth Gamberdella
Santa Barbara

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Because of the wide variety of COVID-19 reactions, undifferentiated case numbers are a terrible statistic used to make lockdown decisions. Would the doctors please explain to the politicians that, while every case number is concerning to doctors, more than 80 percent of coronavirus cases are asymptomatic — the sniffles, mild cold, severe cold and flu-like symptoms — and are treated at home and are not a public health emergency. The remaining 18 percent or so of hospital intensive-care unit admissions, ventilator cases and deaths are a public health concern.

The latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is that .65 percent of COVID-19 victims will die and that 99.35 percent will survive. When the national news media whip up hysteria about “10,000 new cases” (for example), 99.35 percent of those new positive cases will survive.

Los Angeles and San Diego school administrators just went against the findings and recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics by stating that their schools would not reopen to five-day, in-person classes in the fall. The AAP found that, “The preponderance of evidence indicates that children and adolescents are less likely to be symptomatic and less likely to have severe disease resulting from SARS-CoV-2 infection. In addition, children may be less likely to become infected and to spread infection.” This is great news for teachers and is supported by the several countries in Europe that have reopened schools without an increase in hospitalizations.

Los Angeles and San Diego school administrators have just said, in effect, that despite the recommendations of pediatricians across America, that they are going to damage your child’s social, emotional and educational health. That’s not a very medically informed position for those administrators.

One major difference between the 1918 Spanish flu and the COVID-19 pandemics is that, in 1918, there was not a 24/7 national media attempting to promote and prolong crisis overreaction with sensationalism and breathless hysteria. National media crisis editorialism and commentary is hurting America.

Let’s all take a deep breath, realize that children 17 and under are not 75-year-olds with emphysema in a nursing home (as the news media would have us believe), and follow the recommendations of pediatricians all across America and fully reopen schools in the fall.

Victor Dominocielo
Santa Barbara

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