For years, we have had earthquake preparedness pounded into us and Seattle, for the most part, has taken it seriously. We personally have spent big dollars to upgrade our house, and we stock an emergency can of supplies outside.

Given the changes in our natural world with extreme-weather events, fires and epidemics like SARS, MERS, H1N1, Zika and Ebola, it seems like it was only a matter of time before a virus like this hit us. Why weren’t we all prepared for this with a massive education and preparedness program? It should have been started 20 years ago.

If there was sufficient social guidance and everyone understood the dynamics and the necessary protocols of a pandemic, this whole thing would have unraveled in a much less chaotic and deadly fashion, and we would not have a shortage of masks.

Christine Sannella, Seattle