One local doctor has some advice for people confused about all that is happening and being said regarding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Should people stay home? Should businesses re-open? Is it safe to go outside, to go get a haircut, to sit and eat at a restaurant, to visit friends, to go to church, to attend meetings? Are stay-at-home requests too restrictive? Are they enough?

The short answer to all this, according to Arab’s Dr. Keith “Bo” Morgan, is no one really knows for sure at this point. That’s because all the evidence is still being gathered and analyzed.

Some people talk and act like they really know the truth about how to navigate this unmitigated disaster. Evidence compiled over the last five months indicates, maybe they really don’t.

“It’s called a novel virus for a reason,” Morgan said. “It’s new. I’ve never seen anything like this. No one has seen anything like it before.

“As a doctor friend told me, we’re flying the plane as we’re building it.”

Doctors and scientists and other experts all over the world are scrambling to find ways to deal with the virus. Any new finding – whether good news or bad – is reported breathlessly by the media. Some news turns out to be inaccurate. Some is right on. Some was accurate when reported but circumstances changed.

That’s the price of a free society, hearing reports in real time. Some reports vary from others. The story seems to change frequently, but all reports are part of the larger picture of studying this virus and finding out ways to treat it, ways to deal with it socially and, ultimately, ways to prevent it.

In the meantime, health care personnel on the front lines are having to deal with patients who are actually sick with the virus or have other medical issues that need addressing.

Morgan himself falls on the better-safe-than-sorry side of the issue, but he thinks some are being a little too extreme for their own good.

“Do we need to respect the virus? Yes,” he said. “Do we need to over-react? Yes. But to what degree? That’s the question.

“What we can’t do is under-react. But people are staying at home, suffering and to some degree, dying, because they’re afraid of the virus.”

For more on this story please pick up Thursday’s Tribune or purchase an e-edition.

(1) comment

PaulT

"No one knows" in an article that's dated JUNE 3rd??!!!!! I grew up in Arab, but I now live in New York City. We had refrigerated trucks stacked full of dead bodies for the past couple of months three blocks from my apartment, and we are absolutely certain how that happened. Maybe you guys could turn on the television or read a different newspaper to get filled in on this great mystery. There's all kinds of subtle clues as to how the virus spreads and what you should do to prevent. Holy cow. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

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