With the reported surge in COVID cases, should we have another nationwide shutdown?
- There have been 2.4M total confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States with 124,325 total deaths as of June 26. Of those cases, 2,516 resulted in death.
- Across the United States, 38,115 new infections were reported by state health departments on Wednesday — surpassing the previous single-day record of 34,203 set on April 25. Texas, Florida, and California led the way, with all three states reporting more than 5,000 new cases apiece.
- Guardian analysis of coronavirus data, in combination with the University of Oxford’s coronavirus government response tracker, has identified that 10 of the 45 most badly-affected countries are also among those rated as having a “relaxed response” to the pandemic. Those 10 are Germany, Ukraine, the United States, Switzerland, Bangladesh, France, Sweden, Iran, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia.
- CDC Deputy Director Jay Butler made the dire warning in a press briefing, the agency’s first in three months since the pandemic began, “If cases begin to go up again, particularly if they go up dramatically, it’s important to recognize that more mitigation efforts such as what were implemented back in March may be needed again.”
Let’s look at the facts. COVID-19 was the reason for the nationwide quarantine in the second week of March. While that seems like ages ago, the reason the quarantine began was to slow the rate of which the virus spread in the United States. If that same sentiment is applied to now, another quarantine/shutdown is more than necessary. June 24th reported a new record high of 45,000 new cases. While a shutdown isn’t necessarily ideal for those wanting to return to normalcy, this is a second chance to do so in a more organized fashion to ensure permanent eradication.
While it may not be in the cards for a national testing system, it can’t be overstated: reopening states have jumped the metaphorical gun. State reopening shouldn’t be based on a predetermined time period. Just as we’ve seen 29 states with new cases increasing, the country can’t be reopened as a whole if the majority can’t flatten the curve. It would be irresponsible to assume that we’ve given enough time and effort to social distance this virus out of existence.
Given the argument that the quarantine is affecting the US economy, the solution shouldn’t be to reopen businesses where commerce becomes the mode of which the virus travels. The answer lies in creating policy that helps businesses at risk during a second shutdown. While this is easier said than done, it puts the American people less at risk from the virus. While there are resources for small businesses from the state level to combat the economic effect, a stronger federal hand is required.
With another coronavirus spike on the forefront of many people’s minds, aiming for a second shutdown will most likely not be practically implemented, even if this surge should be of utmost concern. The nationwide protests emphasize that individuals would not follow another period of shutdown due to their activism interests. Secondly, on another end of the spectrum, there is constant mention of the low mortality rates of COVID-19, pushing people once again outside.
To specifically address this apparent second surge, it would be much better if local, state, and federal entities could find different methods to publicize and reduce the spread, namely through resources like recommendations and mandates. Lockdowns, although ideal to ceasing the spread in theory, will not seem to be supported by both sides of the aisle any longer. With the economy in shambles, portions of the public would prefer a gradual reopening rather than another lockdown. And given how politicized these past few months have been, it seems that it’ll be nearly impossible to reach a uniform consensus that the public can make that will be followed by as many individuals as possible. From a practical standpoint, this second shutdown will have much less support from the people or enforcement from localized government authority to even recognize its success. It will be much more crucial to ensure there are the medical and economic resources available to Americans, rather than hoping they would follow lockdown proceedings once again.