As the COVID-19 pandemic has battered the United States and turned the nation into the world’s largest hotspot for the virus, the economy has been dramatically impacted. States are eager to reopen and jumpstart their economies even as the pandemic still rages on. Some states have already begun to reopen their economies and ease back on stay-at-home orders and restrictions. What have we seen thus far and what can we expect to see as states continue to reopen amid the pandemic?
All 50 states have begun reopening to some degree, with some states having stricter restrictions and regulations than others. New York, California, and New Jersey are three of the hardest hit states with more than 600,000 cases amongst these three states alone. New York State is the hardest hit state in the entire country with more than 370,000 cases recorded, according to The Washington Post.
What can be expected in these states as they reopen? According to medical experts, a surge in coronavirus cases can be expected as well as thousands of additional deaths attributed to the virus, according to The New York Times article “See How All 50 States Are Reopening”. I believe these states should reopen, but on a slower timeline and much more precautiously.
There have been some observable trends in the way COVID-19 has been impacting these states since reopening. According to the ABC News article, “Tracking what’s happening in states as they reopen”, deaths from the virus have increased in three states. Test positivity has increased in five states and hospitalizations have increased in three states. This demonstrates that states loosening their restrictions in order to combat the virus have resulted in an increased prevalence of the virus in those states.
The United States has been closed and on lockdown for almost three months. At this point in time, it is understandable why so many states are eager to reopen and restart their economies. Nonetheless, I believe it is the duty of Governors, Mayors, and citizens to ensure that when our states are ready to reopen, we adhere to CDC guidelines so that our economies can continue to thrive again safely and not at the cost of thousands of lives.