Letters: Readers respond to pandemic

The Detroit News

How don't I meet testing criteria?

I’m a health care worker with symptoms of COVID-19 and “don’t meet criteria” for testing.

I work as a nurse practitioner in geriatric internal medicine where traveling to over a dozen nursing homes, rehabs, assisted living facilities and adult foster care homes, where assessing 100-120 patients in a week is standard care. When my fever started, my employer kindly sent me home and urged me to get tested for coronavirus, not because of any known exposure, but because of the vulnerability of my patients.

Then I started to get nervous.

After calling my local health department and hospital hotline, I was told that my fever was not high enough and although I did have a cough, I also had to have shortness of breath for it to be COVID-19. I told them I am a health care provider that works with high-risk geriatric patients and I wanted to get checked so I could return to work and know that I am not putting my patients at risk. “I hope you feel better” is all they told me and hung up the phone.

What happens when health care workers become the patients? Overlooking a provider with mild symptoms and assuming she doesn’t have COVID because she should be “sicker” exposes the public to unnecessary risk. Nurses and physicians are well-known for minimizing their own needs in order to care for their patients. When testing is sought, but denied, what message are we sending our providers? Who will care for you or your loved one when the caregivers get sick? The market is plummeting and so is my faith in the system I have dedicated my life to serving. The health care workforce is not disposable and is equally deserving to receive the care they so selflessly provide.

As all of Hollywood flaunts their test results, I am still trying to get mine.

Kristin McErlean, Ferndale

CDC's laboratory test kit for the new coronavirus.

Decline government loans to airlines

Do the taxpayers, airline customers, really owe the airline industry government loans?

The industry has been reaping billions of dollars in profits over the years from passenger fees, luggage fees, food fees.

They’ve nickel and dimed passengers and cramped us into seats like sardines.

We owe them nothing. If they've used their profits wisely they should be self-sustaining.

Marshall Cossman, Grand Blanc

News spreads panic

I am 76 years old, and I have caught many viruses during my years — probably 35-40 times.

I am simply struck dumb by the excess hysteria I am seeing in the news every day. The doctors tell us the symptoms are usual and that some people, with complicated medical conditions, may get very ill and die. What's scary is the news is jamming this at us at an unrelenting rate causing panic and stopping our economy in it's tracks.

It's the one hope of the left: to trample down the financial structure of the U.S., then defeat Donald Trump in November. I'm not buying it!

Dennis Hansinger, Sterling Heights