This week, we are exploring the pros and cons of the return of business and daily activities. Click here to read about the cons.
As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept across the world for months, many people have decided that in order for society to still be able to function after the pandemic, it is important for places to reopen sooner. Discussing the topic of reopening pertains to the economy as well.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a huge reduction in the world’s economy. If businesses were to reopen, there would be a much-needed economic boost. An article from The New York Times stated that a gradual process is needed in order to reopen everything safely, and that certain places will open up earlier than others. States such as Georgia, Massachusetts, and Connecticut are starting to begin the reopening process. South Carolina will likely be one of the first states to allow the widespread reopening of businesses. Since the virus is still spreading in Ohio, citizens there are yet to resume production regardless of the change in rules set in other states.
The White House in Washington D.C. released a comprehensive plan for the month of May for a phased reopening of the economy with restrictions slowly easing as states meet the public health benchmarks required to safely open up again.
“I feel as if it is a huge decision on whether to open the economy back up or not as depending on the state; it can mean life or death. We need to continue working safely in order to be able to reopen the economy, schools, churches, restaurants, etc.” Lenyn Garcia (’20) said.
Certain states have begun to develop their own plans based on the condition of their area. For example, according to The New York Times, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said that certain parts of the state that had fewer coronavirus cases will be allowed to reopen more quickly rather than places within the state such as New York City and other areas that were hit hard by the virus such as in New Rochelle.
The White House created a three-phase plan in order to safely and slowly open up different businesses during different times. Many businesses will be allowed to open during the first phase. Schools will need to wait until Phase Two or later to reopen. In the early phases of reopening, businesses will still operate at a reduced capacity to allow for social distancing to continue.
It is not just the economy that is suffering from the coronavirus, but high school seniors are as well. Here at Westhill High School, senior prom was cancelled and plans for graduation are still being decided upon. At this point, most students want to be able to start college on time.
“I really hope we can find a new normal. My friends and I are worried about whether we can safely go to college ontime in the fall. It just will not be the same if it is online. My class could really miss out on the college experience.” Kelly Fox (’20) said.
If colleges do not start until spring semester or the 2021-2022 school year, high school seniors will miss out on their first college welcome week, freshman year traditions, joining clubs, making new friends, learning from new professors, becoming independent, and so much more.
As many businesses are still forced to stay closed for now, families are suffering as many parents are unable to work and provide for their children. Students are struggling with online distance learning as many people learn best in a traditional in-person classroom setting with their teacher and peers.
As a result of long periods of forced quarantines and social distancing policies, many have taken to the streets in protest. In the United States, the First Amendment grants people the freedom of assembly, but at a harsh cost. In an article from NBC News, the Coronavirus Response Coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Deborah Birx stated that it is worrisome seeing protestors not practicing social distancing, as it could easily extend the time that people need to be quarantined before businesses can reopen.
Protests against economic restrictions have been taking place in at least ten states if not more, according to the NBC News article. One protest in Huntington Beach, California, drew large crowds. People held a demonstration outside the Michigan Capitol Building to protest Governor Gretchen Whitemer’s decision to extend the stay-at-home order even though she had eased some guidelines to make the order easier. In Michigan, there have been more than 43,000 cases and over 4,000 deaths. In Laguna Beach, California, over 100 people protested against their stay-at-home order.
Since some places have been more affected by the coronavirus than others, many people support reopening in the areas that were the least hit while waiting longer before reopening the more impacted areas. For example, according to portal.ct.gov, Governor of Connecticut Ned Lamont issued an Executive Order to allow for the safe reopening of certain sectors of the economy back from May 20 including the reopening of outdoor dining, work offices, retailers, malls, museums, zoos, university research centers, and outdoor recreation businesses. The Department of Economic and Community Development in Connecticut will issue a list of more businesses that will soon be permitted to reopen, which will be incorporated in the Sector Rules. Back on May 19, general business rules were applied to university research centers and outdoor recreation businesses. Boats can have a minimum of five passengers. Personal training sessions must occur with members six feet apart from each other. Race tracks and dirt biking are open for practice only. Volleyball games can be two on two only. Hair salons and barbershops opened on June 1. Museums and zoos are only open outside.
Before a vaccine can be found for the coronavirus, it is important for citizens to resume their daily lives in a way that is safe and effective in order to get the world back to working normally again. There are too many stories of how families all across the world are struggling to get by and provide for their children as they are unable to work.
Many people are developing or having worsening anxiety and depression from not being able to leave their homes for such long periods of time. According to the principles of psychology, humans are social beings. We rely on social interactions to function as a society. With the limited social opportunities now, people are struggling as a result.
As a senior, I want my life back. The end of this year was ruined for me and hundreds of other seniors as we were unable to spend the last part of our year with our best friends and teachers. Internship programs, senior proms, and traditional graduations were canceled, and we cannot have any graduation parties, go out with friends, see our teachers, and celebrate 12 years of hard work. There are so many things I would give the whole world to have right now. We want to hug our friends, not need to wear masks, eat out in restaurants, start college on time, engage in summer activities, and be able to spend time with our grandparents. While reopening does not necessarily mean things will go back to normal, I just want my life back in whatever way is possible.