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EDITORIAL: Small glimmers of hope during trying times

Even just a touch of good news goes a long way during these extraordinary times. And with many Las Vegans — indeed, many Americans — confined under “stay at home” orders, glimmers of hope and optimism amid the daily coronavirus avalanche become a necessary source of strength.

First, the coronavirus may not be as deadly as initial estimates. As testing has ramped up across the country, leading to a predictable spike in cases, public health experts are gaining a better understanding of the disease’s mortality and spread. They have found that fatalities are highly clustered among the elderly who have existing medical difficulties. While the World Health Organization originally predicted a death rate of more than 3 percent, others now believe the figure to be much lower. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, last week put the number at 1 percent. Stanford University’s Dr. John P.A. Ioannidis calculates an even lower mortality rate. “Reasonable estimates for the case fatality ratio in the general U.S. population range from 0.5 percent to 1 percent,” he wrote last week. Stanford medical professors Eran Bendavid and Jay Bhattacharya speculated in The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that the mortality rate may even be less than the common flu.

Second, after days of dickering amid crass Democratic opportunism, the Senate finally reached agreement Wednesday on a $2 trillion relief package designed to keep the economy from collapse. While there should indeed be robust debate about the extent of federal intervention, many Democrats seized on the virus crisis to promote a leftist agenda that had little to do with providing economic relief to individuals and businesses that have been forced to curtail activities. While some strings may be appropriate in return for federal help, placing an abundance of shackles on struggling businesses is no way to help workers. Piling on restriction after restriction will only hinder the ability of a businesses to fully recover. “Somehow, Democrats have become so disconnected to the private economy,” The Wall Street Journal noted Tuesday, “that they think they can burden and punish employers without hurting employees.”

Finally, the Review-Journal’s random acts of kindness blog details scores of examples of community members reaching out to help the most vulnerable. For instance, Station Casinos donated more than 120 pallets of food to Three Square Food Bank, including 1,000 cases of fresh vegetables. Drai’s Las Vegas’ Drai’s Cares program donated a 30-day supply of food and water to Share Village. The list goes on and on, comprising companies and individuals working diligently to ease the fear and hardship many have been forced to endure. These tributes to the human spirit signify the heart and resilience of Southern Nevada.