I believe it is time to gradually start opening the country…
I read somewhere approximately 37% of the workers in the USA are able to work from home; I’m one of the lucky 37%. I’m also lucky there is a fiber optic cable hanging from the pole in my backyard for the neighborhood and I have blazing-fast Internet, a second computer monitor, and a scanner / printer combo that keeps me connected. My group at work and I have embraced Microsoft Teams, our organization’s systems and files are somewhere in the cloud, and I’m beginning to figure out the videoconferencing. I’d even venture to say I am more efficient working from home – as are my coworkers – because we don’t have a lot of the distractions we have in the office. That comes with a cost, as I miss the human interaction and the realization I am stuck at home for a bit longer like I have been for over a month now.
What about the remaining 63% of the workforce? Unemployment has skyrocketed. We’re also not going to be able to flip the switch and turn the economy back on: it’s going to take a long process to restart the supply chains – and how many people have the cash for discretionary spending?
I’ve heard several people say it, and I believe it: if it is safe to go to not just the grocery store but places like Wal-Mart and Home Depot (unless you are a resident of Michigan) why isn’t it safe to go to other stores or restaurants in a limited / social distancing fashion?
I’m not saying open it up where you have herds of people or are playing it dumb. People still need to play it smart: maintain social distancing, wash your hands thoroughly, don’t put your hands or fingers in your mouth or around your nose or eyes and, most important, if you are in a high-risk category – or live with someone who does – you need to be smart. If you or a family member is high-risk and your employer will allow you to continue to work from home (and they should), keep working from home.
Where do you draw the line between what is acceptable vs. not acceptable?
Personally, I think it would be dumb to go get your teeth cleaned at the dentist, major sporting event or concert or, even though I need one, go get a haircut right now. I think it would be a great idea for restaurants to re-open with limited seating at a safe distance and allow people into retail locations as long as you limit the number of customers in the store and maintain proper distance.
Some of you may think I’m an idiot by stating the above. I respect your opinion. As a non-medical professional, but someone who understands statistics, I look at it this way:
- Each jurisdiction (state, county, city) has a different mandate for staying at home; some have no rules at all. As we have not been consistent as a nation, people are still moving around. The decisions on what to do / not do are made by politicians and not the medical community. We need to have a consistent policy across the nation!
- Unless you can 100% guarantee everyone – and I mean every single person – is quarantined at home for about a month you’re not going to stop the spread of the coronavirus. I don’t see that happening as few people have a month’s worth of food and supplies sitting at home.
- Until there is a vaccine, and the vaccine has been mass-produced and distributed, the risk of infection remains and odds are most people will get this virus one day.
I may get this virus and I may die from it. I hope not, but I firmly believe you can’t live your life in fear.
What do you think? Feel free to comment below!
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