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Do not rescind stay-at-home order until basic protections, like disinfectant wipes, are widely available | READER COMMENTARY

Highway 101 in San Francisco, March 20, 2020, days after residents were ordered to shelter in place.
Highway 101 in San Francisco, March 20, 2020, days after residents were ordered to shelter in place. (Jim Wilson/The New York Times)

As debate over when and how to reopen businesses and services that have been temporarily shuttered or seriously curtailed due to COVID-19, I would like to propose a metric that has not, to my knowledge, been suggested as of yet. I suspect that many people, myself included, will not wish to venture forth from our homes for more than the very infrequent trip to the grocery store until and unless products and resources needed to to reduce exposure to the virus are readily available (“Andrew Cuomo says Donald Trump can’t reopen states: ‘We don’t have a king,'” April 14).

I fully understand that at this point in time, disinfectant sprays, wipes, cleaning materials, gloves and hospital-grade masks must be routed to hospitals, nursing homes and police and fire departments. However, I am frustrated each time I receive a public service email directing me to take an array of steps that require resources that have been unavailable in Baltimore area stores and online since the first week of March.

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I really don’t consider my hand-sewn cotton bandanna face mask sufficient armor against which to go out into the world to face an unseen enemy that will likely be lurking around for some time. By all means, there must be antibody testing and a cautious return to some semblance of normal life, but here’s only so much the citizenry at large can do without basic resources to keep homes and workplaces clean and safe.

Gail Goldberg, Ellicott City

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