The Santiva Chronicle publishes opinions and letters on topics that are important to Sanibel and Captiva. They may be submitted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the Santiva Chronicle.
To the editor,
This is my third letter on the transparency of the local government’s reporting on COVID-19 conditions on our island. There were 7 new cases of COVID-19 reported bringing the total accumulative cases, as of Monday November 23rd, to 84. In one week, 7 cases were added to the count. I suggested before, we know nothing more than that number. How many cases will it take before more people become engaged in the fight to get more information for all of us? My guess is that it will be when the number of cases hits over 100 or is at double-digit increases of weekly numbers. I believe as the population swells, because of season, so will the COVID-19 cases.
Why do we not have any contact tracing on the island? Perhaps a more important question is that we have it but have not been told the results. Imagine the following scenario: Someone on Sanibel gets COVID-19 and dies, and contact tracing leads to a restaurant on Sanibel but no one is told that the restaurant is the source. More people who were at the restaurant get COVID-19 and die. Is the local government guilty of negligence because they knew and did nothing to warn the people? Is the local government guilty of negligence by not demanding more information from the healthcare experts? I have asked now in 3 letters how we can make our own healthcare decisions with one piece of information. Do we have a right to try and protect ourselves?
If the government doesn’t provide contact tracing or withholds information, we can’t make informed decisions. The government has to be held accountable for its decisions. I believe that the point is fast approaching when the city will be sued for willful negligence unless things change.