A modest proposal

Posted on Jul 13 2022

Though I can understand that some fellow citizens are tired of reading me continue to address the current global pandemic, I’d like to, if I may, offer a suggestion:

Considering that most testing now is done at home with the results not being shared and the official SARS-CoV-2 testing results and data gathered now on Saipan are inadequate to base community responses upon, it would seem that twice-monthly wastewater sampling (from multiple sources) would help the government and health care workers identify and understand the viral variants/subvariants we are all facing and contending with. Wastewater testing doesn’t provide all the answers, but it does help in alerting the CNMI as to what threats it’s facing and to provide data helpful in formulating an appropriate response. It’s also inexpensive and relatively easy to do.

In addition, having flown two trips to Guam and back for medical treatment in the past three weeks, I’m shocked as to how many people (around 15-20%) onboard the aircraft choose not to wear masks despite there being elderly, infirm, and sick passengers onboard. Yes, the air supply on jetliners is filtered but not constantly and the air in the enclosed airports is not filtered at all. Just because you decide to not wear a mask doesn’t mean the virus isn’t present and that you won’t contribute to passing along the virus to someone who can’t combat it as effectively as yourself.

Just saying.

Mark Farmer
Garapan, Saipan

Mark Farmer
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