SoCS: re-opening?

I want to believe that our region’s re-opening of some businesses will not spark more cases of COVID-19.

I wrote earlier in the week about our area of New York State qualifying to re-open certain businesses. As of yesterday, non-essential retail can be open for curbside pick-up. Some construction and manufacturing can start up with appropriate precautions to protect workers. Plans have to be filed with our regional commission to make sure that they comply with CDC and state guidelines. This is stage one of four. All seven metrics that govern re-opening have to be met at all times. If something slips, signalling a possible outbreak, businesses will have to close again until conditions improve.

It’s bothering me that the media are lumping New York State in with the other 47 states that are ending stay-at-home policies. The vast majority of those states have not met the CDC guidelines for two weeks of declining cases, making public interaction much more dangerous. Those states are not trying to contain the virus but to mitigate it.

New York is putting in place a much different strategy. Only those areas of the state that have the virus contained are eligible. There is a requirement to do a certain number of tests weekly and there are contact tracers, so many for every thousand residents, so that if a case is detected, they can quarantine all contacts that have been close to the infected person so that we don’t get community spread. We hope that the testing, tracing, and monitoring will keep the virus contained, allowing more businesses and services to re-open over the coming weeks and months, while protecting public health. If the program is effective, we won’t need to back off and go back to stay-at-home, but we can if infection rates go up. More importantly, we would know that infection rates are climbing before they get out of control. It turns out that the reason New York had so many cases is that the virus was already out in the community months before anyone realized, coming into New York/New Jersey airports from Europe when everyone was thinking that it was only travel to China that was worrisome. Even now, the downstate region is still under stay-at-home for at least another month. The other area of the state that is still under stay-at-home is western New York, including Buffalo.

Because New York State’s plan is so well-thought-out and relies on science and the experiences of other countries in re-opening, I am hopeful that we will be able to protect public health while gradually getting more people back to work.

I am very afraid for the states that are re-opening more haphazardly, which is, sadly, most of them. They didn’t even follow the CDC guideline to have two weeks of declining infection rates before opening businesses. Many places also opened high-risk businesses, such as hair salons and bars, where social distancing is impossible. The experts who model suspected outcomes have all raised their estimates for infections and fatalities because so many states are taking such a risky path.

I’m sad and scared.

I want New York’s path to work. If it does, I want other states to adopt similar plans, so that we can save as many people as possible from illness and death.

Is that too much to ask?
Linda’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is using the word “want” within the first three words of the post. Join us! Find out more here:

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Author: Joanne Corey

Please come visit my eclectic blog, Top of JC's Mind. You can never be sure what you'll find!

12 thoughts on “SoCS: re-opening?”

    1. Best wishes to you in Oregon. Sometimes, the regular folks have better judgement than the leaders. When I watch Governor Cuomo’s briefings through FB live, there are always comments from people across the country and even abroad. People are hungry for facts.


  1. I’m sad and scared too. I’m in Texas, a state doing it the wrong way in my opinion. I’m making choices to continue stay orders of my own doing. Thank goodness I can work from home extended to at least 9/1.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad to hear that you are able to stay safe at home. Texas is very worrying. I heard that fatalities are spiking in the couple of weeks since the restrictions were lifted, so I’m afraid it may continue to get worse. Let’s hope that the leaders come to their senses or that more folks are able to make the choice to stay home.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. New York is going a good job! NC is being careful with gradual easing of restrictions in two week periods, though I don’t think my county has declined in cases yet. Hmmm. Restaurants are still take out only and some things are still closed like playgrounds and hair salons, but some clothing stores are open. We can have church outside with a limited number of participants and social distancing. Strange times. Stay well, Joanne.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you and yours stay well, too. It’s interesting that, even without easing restrictions, you have some things available that we may not have, even in stage four. Of course, NC has outdoor opportunities for many more months of the year than we do. I think we won’t have regular access to in-person church for many months.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. It does. No one has a right to endanger the health of others. Everyone does have a moral obligation to protect others and you would think that church groups in particular would recognize this.

          Liked by 1 person

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