There seems to be a disagreement between people across the country, and indeed across the world. Is now the time to reopen the economy?
On one side are frustrated protesters, select governors and other politicians, and business owners. Their argument focuses on the economy.
With non-essential businesses shuttered, many small businesses that are crucial to the local economy are not in operation. As a result, the employees that work there are not getting paid, and many of them don’t have much money saved.
This could have catastrophic effects. Those individuals can’t buy food, so their families go hungry or rely on local food banks to eat. Their rent or mortgage doesn’t doesn’t get paid, and those losses accumulate up the financial chain.
Similarly, other medical conditions aren’t treated, which hurts individual health. Property and income taxes aren’t collected, starving local government. In turn, this impacts the prospects for longer-term services. Moreover, the fear over health and financial concerns could exacerbate mental health problems.
On the other side, there is already a huge death toll. In just a few months, more people have died than in the entirety of the years-long Vietnam war. Opening up the community could mean that number could easily double or triple if more people spread the disease. Our health care system is already in crisis in hard-hit areas.
Also, the people likely to be hardest hit are those with the least ability to withstand it. Poor communities, particularly those with high minority populations, are already dying in higher percentages, and that is likely to continue. Those who are already unhealthy, infirm, or immune-compromised will bear the medical and financial brunt.
And to reopen the economy may not do any good if people are afraid to leave their house. Restaurants, for example, can open. However, if most tables are empty every night because most people staying home, they will go out of business anyway.
Ultimately, where do you stand on this issue? Do we need to stay closed for the good of the community? Or open up for the same?