Letter: Personal responsibility needed to defeat virus threat 



There are lots of conflicting reports and advice from experts in the media about COVID-19, so how should Hoosiers properly respond?

State governments took the lead with various levels of “shutdown.” They tried to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed by COVID patient admissions at any given point. It may have worked, but this strategy also extended the length of time the virus spreads. In doing so, state governments basically took the responsibility away from us. Now, as restrictions are relaxed, it’s time for us to take back that responsibility for our community’s sake.

Random sampling across Indiana implies that the probability of death is about one-half of 1 percent (.0058). Given that 70 percent of 6.6 million Hoosiers must be exposed to the virus to achieve “herd immunity,” and given the probability of death, we could potentially lose some 27,000 souls. So far, 1,716 persons have died in the state.

Meanwhile, numerous people appear to believe the virus is no longer a threat simply because we are opening up more businesses and activities. While opening back up is the correct thing to do, it’s up to all of us to remain personally vigilant about protecting vulnerable Hoosiers wherever appropriate. We know who they are. As of May 20, 91 percent of the Indiana COVID deaths were people age 60 and older, some 80 percent of whom had at least one form of comorbidity. There are still plenty of vulnerable people out there.

As we begin to work and play again, we are still potentially passing the virus to one another — especially in crowded, indoor locations. If we’re not careful, we could see significant increases in hospitalizations and deaths and encourage more restrictive government measures. It’s up to each of us to take proper precautions now. If we don’t, we could end up enduring tougher restrictions and even greater economic consequences.

Matt Rowe, Carmel, and Hamilton County Commissioner Steve Dillinge