Letter Writer Shares Thoughts on Shelter-in-Place, Says Open the Economy

By Susan Morgan, Letter to Editor


The following Letter to the Editor was submitted by Susan Morgan, a resident in the City of Oakley, who shares more of her thoughts in bullet point format on social distancing, shelter-in-place and how we should open the economy back up.

Dear Editor:

This is a follow-up to my Letter of April 27, 2020, with additional clarifications and thoughts on our current situation.

  • One quick clarification – my initial Letter to the Editor did not contain, anywhere within
    it, the words “City” or “Oakley”. These words were added by the editor, to indicate
    residency. Editors do that.
  • The death rates for COVID are now decreasing, while incidents of other quarantine-
    related tragedies are sharply rising. Suicides are spiking; child abuse and domestic
    violence are festering behind closed doors; depression, alcoholism, drug abuse, stress,
    and anxiety are all dramatically increasing. Opening up is about more than just how
    many new cases are detected or tests are processed; it is also about how much damage are we doing – medically and socially, as well as economically – by staying closed. There are costs to isolation – and we are not balancing that equation.
  • One of the goals of the Governor’s strategy is to develop herd immunity. Herd immunity
    requires that individual immunity exists – that people, once infected, develop immunity.
    Without individual immunity, herd immunity could not exist. Without individual
    immunity, a vaccine could not be developed – vaccines are created by duplicating the
    immune response of infected individuals who have recovered. Infectious disease experts
    believe that COVID patients are very likely to develop immunity, and these experts
    support the focus on developing a vaccine.
  • Preventative medicine has been effectively blocked. These so-called “elective” procedures include a myriad of health treatments across the board. Cancer patients can’t get screening and early treatments. Hernia sufferers are told to wait and suffer. Dental
    procedures are being delayed, causing further decay and deterioration, some of which
    will result in permanent damage. Cataract patients, requiring a simple surgical out-patient
    procedure, are told to wait, and hope they don’t go blind. We used to practice
    preventative medicine – to identify and fix problems before they became major disorders.
    This standard of care was considered good medicine. What kind of medicine are we
    practicing now?
  • Individuals without face masks are being harassed. Section 9 of the Contra Costa Health
    Order to Wear Face Coverings reads, in part: A Face Covering is not required to be worn
    by an individual if a medical professional has advised that wearing one may pose a risk
    for health related reasons… . If you see a person without a face mask, do not assume,
    judge, or harass them. They may just be trying to breathe, the only way they can. If that
    makes you uncomfortable, you can choose to keep your distance. They too need to shop
    for food and other necessities.
  • Public officials, who are receiving full paychecks funded by taxpayers, continue to force
    many of those taxpayers to stay home and receive no paychecks, or to reduce their
    services and receive smaller paychecks. The Emergency Powers Act, which has provided these officials with unprecedented powers, is being used without any checks and balances. How long can officials continue to claim that there is an “emergency” justifying this?
  • Is it selfish to want to work hard, put a roof over your head, and provide for your family? Is it selfish to want to earn a living, save money, buy a house, and put your kids through college? This used to be the American Dream. Now it is considered selfish? How far have we fallen?
  • I am not a Republican. I am not a Democrat. I am an “independent” (NPP). This is not, and should not be, about parties or politics. This is about life – our way of life, and the devaluation of it.
  • I had this virus. I was sick in bed for two weeks. During part of that time, I was gasping for breath and coughing so hard it hurt. After two weeks, I was up and around, but still weak and coughing. After three weeks, it was gone, and I was back to work. I am a significantly older adult and subject to arterial heart fibrillations. The vast majority of the people infected with this virus will suffer symptoms no worse than mine, and most far less.
  • Quarantining those who are “high risk” or sick may make sense. But quarantining those who are healthy does not. The impacts of quarantining the healthy are far worse than the repercussions of the virus itself. Quarantine the sick – free the healthy, and let them get back to their lives.

Susan Morgan
Resident of the City of Oakley

If you wish to submit a letter to the editor, email [email protected]


  1. While the writer makes some points, it’s not a “black and white” issue. The shelter-in-place decision involves a very hard tradeoff between public health and economic activity, with public officials are criticized no matter what they do. Noo one is calling you “selfish” because you’d rather be back at your job. Everyone wants to do so. Decisions to delay elective medical or dental treatment are often made by the patients – not denied by providers.

    We’ve seen what happened in Italy, Spain, New York/New Jersey and now is happening in Brazil. The available evidence indicates that the Bay Area counties’ early shelter-in-place order HAS been effective in sparing us the same. I’m no Newsom fan (I disagree with most his agenda) but I think he’s handled the situation about as well as any governor could – and without the political BS of Trump and his minions.

    • Agreed 100% Robert.

      I’ll also add that it’s truly shameful ETC publishes this uneducated op-ed propaganda but has come to be expected.

      • Then write your own response with your so called “facts”. People are free to voice their opinion in the written form.

        1. Failed to provide your name
        2. “uneducated op-ed propaganda” but failed to even say what was uneducated or propaganda.

        I get it, you disagree, but it does not make their opinion wrong by default.

  2. I agree with Susan. Let’s open back up so people can get back to work and support their families. Enough of this crap already.

  3. Yes, open up the community and risk death. Go ahead it sounds like y’all know everything, as for me I will stay in my home. I am surely going to take advice from our very smart supreme leader.

    • You risk death when you drive a car, people risk death all the time by doing something. If you want to stay home you need an unlimited supply of money. Unfortunately, not everyone has that luxury and needs to risk death by working to survive. As for you, go and follow your “supreme leader” comrade Newsom.

  4. Susan, did they treat you with any prescription medication. If so, it would be great if you share the related medicines they gave you.
    Thank you

  5. Susan, did they treat you with any prescription medication. If so, it would be great if you share the names of the related medicines they gave you.
    Thank you

  6. I love how people complain day in and day out about their jobs and something like this happen and your told to stop the spread we need to shelter within and now you all want go back. Abuse and thought of sucide will occur weather this virus was here or not.

  7. Take away government paychecks, this sham of a shelter in place would been over when the we new critical information on this viris which was first week in april. Watch CNN/MSNBC and continue to live in your cave.

  8. I think it’s also good to identify the silver lining in all of this. It’s showing the holes and improvements our society needs. That we indeed aren’t the best country in the world. There’s too many to list, but my hope is it grows empathy for our fellow Americans who have survived with less means traditionally and now many have to experience the same. Unfortunately many are so privileged and ignorant they may not learn anything from this. Protesting for a haircut while children have been protesting for clean water in Flint, Michigan since 2014 is a glaring example of this. If we can waste hundreds of billions of dollars in our military and our prisons, outspending other developed countries exponentially, I’m sure the government can find some money to help our citizens. Why do corporations who make billions in profit need a bailout, but average Americans need an emergency fund? I guess it’s easier to complain and riot so we can go to Applebee’s again. ‘Murica


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