Second wave of COVID and closures

Aaron Tstatkis, Contributing Writer

The United States has come a long way since its first confirmed case of COVID-19 on Jan. 20. As we have faced ups and downs in cases since January, many wonder if we are nearing the end of the virus or if cases will surge again in the winter months. The true answer may seem pessimistic, but despite the decrease in cases in the early summer months, the cases have risen dramatically in August. We are nowhere near the end of this pandemic, and some precautions must be taken to ensure the safety of the American people. 

According to CNN, 99,321 new coronavirus cases were reported in the United States on Oct. 30 alone. Not only is this the most cases ever recorded in a single day by any country, but 17 states also experienced the most hospitalizations in one day. Dr. Leana Wen, a former Health Commissioner of Baltimore, told CNN that “The U.S. has a narrow window of time before more drastic measures like mandatory lockdowns will have to be considered.” In order to avoid another national shutdown, we need to implement mandatory mask-wearing, keep non-essential businesses closed and limit social gatherings. 

European countries, such as Belgium, France, Austria and Germany, have placed new lockdown restrictions as coronavirus cases surge. Unlike the first lockdown, schools will stay open and family members will be able to visit loved ones at care facilities, but all non-essential businesses are closed until Dec. 1. U.S. cities are mirroring these new restrictions: El Paso county ordered a two-week lockdown of non-essential services, as of Oct. 30. Halloween, a favorite national holiday, was canceled in 37 states in order to control the spread of the virus. 

I am not certain that placing the country in lockdown right now is the right decision. The economy has taken a large hit, as the DOW sunk more than 900 points. But if the only way to stop the spread of the virus, then it is necessary to close all non-essential businesses, then so be it. However, another aspect to consider when analyzing the rising cases of COVID-19 are the college students traveling home for holiday break: As students from large schools with high COVID-19 rates come home at the end of the semester, they bring back the virus to all of the different states they come from. The number of cases nationwide can potentially explode, especially as people gather in large groups for holiday celebrations. To prevent this detrimental spread, the United States needs to implement an adequate policy.

(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)