Science City And The COVID

Letter To The Editor_Pongratz Endorses Chris Chandler For House District 43 Seat (6)


I was a bit befuddled when I read that the GOP of Los Alamos—Los Alamos—Science City where an international collaboration of brilliant scientists and engineers joined to build a bomb to defeat fascism then usher in the nuclear age on July 16, 1945—Science City where Discoveries are Made with generations of brilliant scientists and engineers (supported by equally brilliant staff such as I was) contributing their expertise to further national interests from the tiny such as research in subatomic particles, quantum theory and quantum dots, the human genome, AIDS, and now COVID, to big stuff like earthquakes and global warming and, of course, more weapons—I was a bit befuddled that here, in Science City, the GOP are having a parade to Shut Down the Shutdown.  

So, well, who are these guys? Are they locals? In Science City? Do they not understand epidemiology and how a virus spreads, and more to the point, how this novel COVID might not offer immunity to those who already had it? A 70% to 90% infection rate is required to starve a normal virus. With the novel COVID, a high infection rate won’t offer herd immunity because, well, you might not be immune from when you got it the first time. Therefore, if we reopen the US to our previous level of inter-human interactions, there’s not much likelihood of an effective herd immunity. We can get it again, and have another opportunity to spread it or die from it.  

That brings up the point, why are these GOP having this parade? Are they having it to support the President? Do they hope he’ll come and personally hand them a KAG hat? Mmmm…I bet he won’t. I bet he doesn’t even know their doing this. I’d say, how about rethinking that fantasy, and instead support the community.  The sooner we starve the virus worldwide, the sooner we can safely reopen.  Even these stalwart GOP will be less likely to get sick and spread the disease to their families, churches, and fellow shoppers at Smiths. 

We can reopen society. But only after we contain the COVID.  Science shows us how. This is Science City. Let Science trump Trump. Let’s all stay safe and smart. Trump doesn’t care about you.  We do.

Jodi Benson
Los Alamos