posted by Jack
Dr. Scott Morrow, San Mateo County’s leading health officer, released a statement detailing 15 reasons for why the county did not join neighboring jurisdictions in implementing a voluntary shelter-in-place order, largely highlighting personal responsibility for slowing the spread of COVID-19.
Instead of breaking up gatherings, Morrow raised concerns greater restrictions would just drive groups indoors, which is “a much riskier endeavor.” And a shutdown of the economy could lead to additional job loss, hunger, despair and more deaths unrelated to COVID, he said.
“The structure of our economy is, for the most part, if you don’t work, you don’t eat or have a roof over your head,” Morrow said. “And I wonder, are these premature deaths any less worrisome than COVID deaths.”
Within hospitals, he said medical facilities are currently prepared to manage a surge while other planning processes have not begun. Many hospitals have not adopted policies to pause elective procedures, freeing up personnel to respond to a surge. Additionally, capacity maximizing efforts haven’t been initiated while barriers limiting capacity haven’t been addressed, he said.
In day-to-day operations, he voiced grave concern for reducing grocery store capacity to 20% and questioned decisions to permit professional sports activities, directly stating “it is not essential.” And the loss of a quality education will be felt for generations, he said, supporting the stance that schools should be open.
“Beyond the basic human needs for air, water, food, shelter and safety, it has, to date, been impossible for me to define what is ‘essential’ to the 800,000 people who live here,” said Morrow.