The following is a legislative update from State Senator Amanda Ragan, representing Franklin, Butler and Cerro Gordo counties:
Coronavirus continues to be the top item in the news and on most of our minds.
Based on the latest data, Iowa is projected to hit its worst point for the virus in early May. As new data becomes available, projections are refined and updated.
While we’re just starting to understand the nature of this disease, we can see clearly that distancing practices in other states do “flatten the curve,” slow the spread and save lives.
I know folks are getting tired of physical distancing. So many Iowans are going above and beyond to help their families, friends and communities. It’s my hope that leaders will come up with a comprehensive plan that includes widespread testing, expanded contact tracing and addressing the shortage of personal protective equipment. Until those problems are addressed, we cannot set benchmarks to guide us in reopening the economy without sparking a second wave of infections.
According to the Center for American Progress, “Americans are willing to make sacrifices and do their part to break transmission, but they need to have faith that there is a plan in place that will work. There is no conflict between aggressive public health measures that save lives and economic growth: In a study of the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, cities that intervened earlier and more aggressively had faster economic growth after the pandemic.”
We’re all learning a lot through this process, and we will rebuild stronger than before if we take to heart the lessons of this pandemic and our response to it. It certainly has reinforced for me some of the keys to being prepared for the unexpected and for Iowa to remain a great place to live, learn and work—including a strong safety net, better access to health care, and good Internet service in every community and neighborhood.