The dangers of reopening the country too soon


Paul Becker

There have been protests throughout the country against the stay-at-home orders, but lifting restrictions too soon could be incredibly dangerous.

Melissa May, Arts Writer

COVID-19, also known as the novel coronavirus,  has been raging throughout the world since late December, and no one is a stranger to the pandemic or its effects. It has impacted everyone’s lives over the past five months, whether they have had it themselves, know someone who has had it, or have simply been in quarantine and practicing social distancing. As of a May 11 statistic, there have been 4.17 million confirmed cases around the world, with the United States leading with 1.38 million confirmed cases throughout the country. 

Nearly everything throughout the country has been closed for around two months; schools, many people’s places of work, parks, beaches, restaurants, and practically everything else that signifies “business as usual” have shut down in attempts to slow the spread of COVID-19. Individuals have also had to do what they can in order to save as many lives as possible, from staying inside when they can, to keeping six feet away from others while going out. 

While the efforts may seem bothersome or like an inconvenience, they are completely necessary. In fact, around the middle of April, reports started to show that America was actually beginning to flatten the curve and, after peaking in early April, the United States cases had reached a plateau. So, in lieu of these promising statistics, President Donald Trump has started sharing his plans to reopen the country, even hoping to have things back to normal in May. Although, the reality is much less promising, and if Trump’s strategies are followed through, his lack of preparation and consideration will only lead to more danger and many more deaths.

Research has shown that, similarly to the original spike in COVID-19 cases, if the country reopens and people begin to cluster in public spaces again, the cases will rise for a second time. For example, Florida reopened their beaches recently and their cases have been consistently climbing again. There are still many people who are contracting or that currently have coronavirus, and letting people go out and return to their way of life before a global pandemic struck is simply irresponsible. 

Not only would reopening the United States be dangerous on a state-wide scale, but it can send huge shockwaves throughout the country once again. South Korea, Germany, and China all spent weeks in lockdown, shutting down all public spaces and doing everything they could to limit the amount of coronavirus cases. When everything began to calm down and their numbers were substantially decreasing, they tried to reopen the countries, only to be met with more cases and an increase in the spread of the disease. 

So, while getting back to normal life sounds like a dream come true, the country is nowhere near ready to do so. The best thing we can do at this point is to continue social distancing and limiting the spread to the best of our ability. Opening the door for another spike in cases and dragging the pandemic out even more simply because people are not enjoying their time at home anymore is beyond dangerous. While the effects seem terrible now, reopening the country too soon would make them so much worse.

Throughout the country during this experience though, there have been thousands of people who are no longer employed or receiving any money due to their jobs being deemed non-essential. Over $200 billion has been delegated toward stimulus checks for adults, couples, and children under 17 who need extra help during the pandemic. Many individuals are struggling to pay bills, rent, and lots of other expenditures, causing this unusual time to be even more stressful. 

This reveals another crack in the government’s plan to rid the country of coronavirus. Other measures like the stimulus checks need to be implemented in order to help the people who are in need. Since it is clear that opening the country so soon would be reckless, the people with no jobs and no income need extra support from the government. It is difficult to find a healthy balance between opening too soon and being able to get people back to their jobs and incomes, but it is safe to say that opening any time in the next month is far too quick. 

Despite the hopes of getting the U.S. and its citizens’ lives back to normal, reopening now or any time in the near future can be deeply hazardous and have terrible effects. Our true best bet is to wait a while longer before resuming ordinary life, because it will save lives. Continue to social distance and avoid public spaces when possible. Keep washing your hands and wearing masks any time you go out. Do anything you can to help the people who do not have the same luxuries as you. While the curve is just now beginning to flatten, we still have a long road ahead of us.