Blithe cynicism . A letter to the editor in the Capital Gazette 5/23/2020 In responds to Steven Strawn 5/18 column

Blithe cynicism In his op-ed, Steve Strawn, Annapolis Republican Central Committee chairman, claims to be advocating for the interests of “real people” in celebrating victory over the current medical-economic crisis (The Capital, May 18). Actually, he is only yearning for a return to conditions that never served those interests. You don’t have to be an ardent fan of Gov. Larry Hogan to detect in Strawn’s nostalgia a flagrant indifference to the ongoing surge in death and dying, particularly among the state’s perpetually underserved poor and minority families. Strawn cites comparative mortality data in the U.S. without drawing the obvious conclusion – that 89,000 reported COVID-19 deaths in three months of 2020 far surpass the rate of 34,000deaths in this country’s entire 2018-2019 flu season. Moreover, we have ready access to effective protection against the flu,whereas the novel Corona attacks undefended lives. True, it’s a poor health care system that can’t treat ongoing maladies while coping with an unprecedented epidemic. While vividly regretting the hardships imposed by the statewide quarantine, we should begin accommodating what will have permanently changed when the plague has truly ebbed. We can probably never return to many market circumstances prevailing before COVID-19 and should refuse to repeat the public health insomnia that allowed the virus to overwhelm us. Some100,000 dead in the United States so far, with no evidence for Strawn’s assertion that “the worst is over,” refute his claim that we’ve “weathered the storm” thanks to having “done nothing.” Those of us who mourn the dead and fear a moribund future can only hope that the blithe cynicism of Strawn’s column does not represent the attitude of his political party as a whole.

PHILIP ALLEN Annapolis

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