To the Editor:

Having moved to the greater Seattle area from Athens last spring, I have some perspective that Athens Countians and OU students should probably heed. I realize that many of you may feel that the measures being taken by OU President Nellis and your governor to limit the spread of the new coronavirus may be premature considering the relative mild nature of the outbreak in Ohio at this point (this was submitted on Sunday).

However, I want to assure you that this is not the case. Prompt measures, even if they seem extreme, are the right way to go in the earliest stages of this epidemic. Here in Washington state, our governor and other officials waited too long to take decisive steps, and as a result we are way behind the curve.

People here in northwest Washington are scared, and many, especially older folks like me, are hunkered down in our houses, afraid to go to the grocery store, and even afraid to go to doctor’s appointments. Bars and restaurants are still allowed to be open in Washington state, but by now, virtually no one is patronizing them.

All universities and colleges have now suspended in-person classes, but much later than they should have. Do as your leaders have ordered – avoid any crowds, don’t go anywhere if you are sick, wash hands frequently, and take every precaution.

Hopefully, by abiding by all of these measures early in the outbreak in Ohio, you can avoid getting to the point where we in the Northwest are now, and you’ll be able to resume your normal life much sooner and with much less disease and mortality. 

Ken Brown

Brier, Washington

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