The Transylvania Times -

Practice Social Distancing Now


Last updated 3/16/2020 at 2:18pm

From all the evidence, it seems likely Western North Carolina will be hit by the COVID-19 pandemic this spring. Our population of retirees is particularly at risk.

Experience from the 1918 flu pandemic shows that, while most of us will be infected, it makes a big difference in the death rate if local medical facilities are overwhelmed. Peer-reviewed data show that in Philadelphia, where authorities responded slowly to the situation, the death rate was much higher than in St Louis, where they acted faster. I ask you to consider beginning now to practice improved social distancing and other public hygiene measures.

My wife and I have especially enjoyed attending the Brevard Music Festival over the past 15 years. Sadly, I don’t see how the community can responsibly host this event in 2020. Bringing hundreds of musicians together for communal living and working, with thousands of audience packed together nightly... it just doesn’t seem responsible.

Please consult with your public health department.

John Rathbun, M.D.



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