To the editor: 

I needed to sit down right away and respond to Ashley Sullivan’s May 15 letter (“COVID-19 and government overreach”). I planned on spending time looking up the numerous articles refuting her letter, but I decided I didn’t want to waste my time.

But the one thing I can’t let go is comparing COVID-19 to the seasonal flu. There is no comparison. Without even using Google I can respond to that one. Yes, the flu kills thousands of people each year, with year being the operative word. Ms. Sullivan used 80,000 seasonal flu deaths per year in her letter, which is about 6,667 deaths per month. We’ve lost more than 85,000 in what, three or four months? That’s as many as 28,333 deaths per month. Multiply that by 12 and we’d lose 339,996 people in a year. That’s probably an underestimate. The most important part of my response is to answer her question of “are we going to shut down the country each year when the flu makes an appearance?” Well, all those deaths are unfortunate and totally unnecessary because we have a very effective flu vaccine, something we may not have for COVID-19 for quite some time. Additionally, we have treatment for the flu called Tamiflu, which doesn’t cure you but will lessen your symptoms and the length of the illness. And please do some research on the spread rate of seasonal flu vs. COVID-19. There’s a big difference.

I did Google real quickly the efficacy of wearing masks in public, even homemade cloth ones. I’ll take the research and advice of the Cleveland Clinic anytime, thank you very much (it’s more to prevent the spread than contracting COVID-19). COVID-19 cannot be compared to the seasonal flu and if you still believe that then you’ve got your head buried in the sand.

Pam Poulin


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