The partial isolation of our Delmarva and its less dense population may offer us better options to deal with both the COVID-19 virus, as well as the resulting depression/recession. Two weeks of asking most of us to stay home makes sense since the known cases on the Shore probably will have spread all they can in that period. But this article in the New York Times (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/20/opinion/coronavirus-pandemic-social-distancing.html?smid=em-share) suggests we might do well to take measures that would better protect our most vulnerable, as well as more realistically protect us from both the virus and its recession/depression.

The truth probably is that current measures only protect a few older folks in care of retirement facilities or those who are lucky enough to live with privileged families that can afford to actually "shelter in place." Many, very likely most, other family members need to work or will need to work in the coming week. And then their vulnerable one's risk of COVID-19 increases. I find it hard to see that "shelter-in-place" is sustainable or effective on a practical level for the month-long periods we are hearing about. We need more for the vulnerable and something more realistic for the rest of us because an economic collapse can generate human fatalities on a much larger scale.

A few checks trickling out of Washington to our mailboxes will only fill already existing financial holes nearly half of Americans already live with. In fact, it seems likely that most the hourly workers who are still out there, risking their health, to stock shelves and run our infrastructure have been scraping by on less than a living-wage (eight of the 10 most common jobs in Maryland don't pay a living wage). And that sad reality will likely continue, not only after this pandemic is past, but into the next one. Is that how the privileged folks show gratitude to the stalwarts?

Our relative isolation could allow us to experiment with a fairer, more effective, way of dealing with this crisis in its entirety.

JONATHAN WILLIAMS

Royal Oak

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