We're now living out absurdities, one after another, and there is no end in sight. The Coronavirus is itself an absurd event, turning our lives upside down, and how it's been handled in Georgia and at the national level is ridiculous. President Trump initially denied the virus was a problem, and said it would "disappear" on its own; when it didn't go away, he changed the conversation to any topic that he thought would distract questions from the media about the fast-moving and deadly monster. Now, five months into the pandemic, there is no true national strategy to beat the virus — no real national contact tracing and testing with quick results, no national lockdown in the surges every state has and is experiencing, just hit-and-miss solutions when the White House feels against the wall. In the 1918 flu pandemic, without antibiotics, vaccines, and testing, and in the Great Depression of the 1930s, without powerful technology, America struggled, but succeeded in overcoming these tragedies. Today, with advanced health assistance from the CDC and other federal agencies, we are making progress despite President Trump's constant bickering and his promotion of unapproved and unworkable drugs and dangerous doctors from the fringes of the medical profession. Instead of helping, he continues to hurt progress toward workable therapies and vaccines by constantly making absurd statements and undermining the work of federal health experts. 

In Georgia, there is likewise no state plan to control the virus. Governor Kemp, in his own absurd way, has refused to mandate the wearing of face masks in the state while he travels throughout Georgia always wearing a mask. After the initial surge of the virus in the spring, he reopened businesses and other institutions too fast, resulting in a second surge that we are now experiencing. His response to this second wave is not to clamp down, but to promote more opening — schools, colleges, football, etc. And in the in-person reopening of a few public schools several days ago, the result was the immediate spread of the virus and quarantine of more than 1,000 students and school employees. Kemp's response to this has been not alarm or caution, but silence. Instead of helping us, he is hurting us, just like President Trump is doing. 

While our state and nation stagger, wounded and dazed, it is up to each of us to do our best to practice the best health behaviors of wearing a face mask in public, washing hands, physical distancing, staying away from crowds, and protecting our families. We are on our own, folks, so good luck, and God Bless America! 

Grant Plymel

Thomasville, Ga.

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