Editor's note: Response to Citrus County Chronicle article: Main headline: “Local medical clinic closes two offices"; and with sub-headline of “One employee tested positive for COVID-19; Lecanto office remains open.”

I have an issue with an article written and published by the Citrus County Chronicle. This article reports one positive case of COVID-19 in an otherwise healthy individual; instead of focusing on educating the public about the virus and the real impact that it has on our community.

While this case did not occur in my main Lecanto office, I take offense as to why the Chronicle felt the need to mention the name of our first-class medical office, identifying the positive case, and insinuating that we are at fault.

This is poor reporting, plain and simple. We are dealing with a pandemic. If you are indeed in the business of health care, taking care of people and not sitting behind a desk, you will likely encounter not one, but many cases of COVID-19.

By reporting inaccurate information, you are contributing to the spread of fear among our community, bringing few solutions to the problem we are all facing. This causes more harm than good. If the media, like the Chronicle, wants to report on COVID-19, why don’t they report on the shortage of tests and personal protective equipment that the local doctors need to do their jobs? Why don’t they question the impact of the misguided fear of COVID-19 on the local economy?

If the media wants to be helpful, they should ask for a total shutdown for a couple of weeks, allowing us to recover. It is only a matter of time when everyone will know someone who has been infected with COVID-19. A large majority of patients will recover just like they normally would if they had the flu. It is not the bubonic plague. People who are affected are real people who need love and support, like anyone else. COVID-19 is a mild disease in most cases, but can be serious for those who are older with comorbid conditions, or those with low immunity. Practicing standard precautionary measures both at work and home should be the standard when dealing with infections. That is what we do every day. To the Citrus County Chronicle: Please bring solutions instead of exacerbating the problem.

Finally, my ultimate advice to the public when dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, “Don’t just change your behavior to avoid being infected, but instead assume you are infected and change your behavior to avoid transmission.”

Dr. Dacelin St. Martin is a medical doctor and owner of PedIM clinics.

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