COVID is overrunning the state

COVID-19 has outrun Ohio officials’ ability to keep track of it, much less control it.

On Monday and Tuesday, viewers of the state’s online epidemic “dashboard” — coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/dashboards — again saw the following message in bright red letters:

“Today’s data is incomplete. Thousands of reports are pending review. Additionally, today’s data includes two days of positive test results that were delayed because of technical issues related to lab reporting. Please bear with us as we work through the surge in testing.”

Consider the numbers officials were able to show on the website Monday: Of the total of 363,304 cases of the disease diagnosed since the epidemic began in March, 132,626 of them were battling COVID-19 that day. By the state’s admission, the situation may have been worse than the incomplete statistics — repeated Tuesday — indicated.

Perhaps you have been thumbing your nose at pleas you do your part to avoid spreading COVID-19, through measures such as wearing a mask when in a public place. You are relatively young and in good health, so the disease will not be hard on you. No one is going to force you to cover your mouth and nose.

Probably not. But Gov. Mike DeWine and other state officials can hit you where it hurts, in the pocketbook, if they decide — rightly or wrongly — another massive shutdown of the economy is needed.

Understand that we are not advocating such action. It would be devastating to many Ohioans. But the decision is not up to us. Rather, it depends upon how desperate officials become to save lives.

Whether that happens may be up to you.


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