As sad as it is, there are many who are suffering economically because of the shutdowns, layoffs and furloughs that were imposed to stop the spread of the coronavirus and I feel for them. But for everyone to return to work at once could put the country right back in economic jeopardy.
Nevertheless, initiating Ohio's economic start-up will neither be a piece of cake for Gov. Mike DeWine nor will it mean we're over this deadly pandemic. Shutting down might have been simpler, but opening wide those economic doors of financial stability is just not as easy as it seems. It needs to be done in segments; to test the waters.
You don't just insert a master key into a keyhole, turn the key and PRESTO! All the businesses are open. It's more complicated than that. Since there are still lives at stake, opening the state must be properly coordinated, otherwise pandemonium reigns, including the fate of additional lives.
Bear in mind, now that the experts have fought it, if a second wave of coronavirus strikes, Uncle Sam might be able to control it better than before when they waited too long before closing everything at once. That may be part of the reason why DeWine chose to open up the state in stages.
DeWine plans to start easy with office workers as long as their work spaces adhere to the rules of social distancing. Among those rules are regular hand washing, temperature taking protocol, ensuring sitting distance of six feet or more, natural workplace ventilation and wearing face coverings.
If possible, cancel or keep to a minimum meetings when social distancing can not be achieved. No groups should meet in cafeterias and no buffets. Work stations should be disinfected each day and, if possible, work spaces redesigned to achieve social distancing.
I'd imagine as we progress throughout these opening stages, more and different type businesses will open under the eye of the state government and I applaud DeWine for the way he is doing this. While there are more, such as religious gatherings, reunions, theaters and sporting events, there are, however, at least two areas, and possibly more, where I strongly suggest we wait; public swimming pools and reopening the schools.
If kids need to cool off, they can either use private pools or have water fights with garden hoses. We did when we were kids and it worked quite well. Besides, this isn't permanent. In time, whether it be this summer or next, all public pools will open.
Then there is the school issue. I personally feel there is a great danger sending kids back to school this year. In four weeks school will be over anyway. Why send them back for such a short period of time and risk their health, or have them become an unknown carrier and then bring it home?
Let's face it, kids will be kids. We were all like them at one time and should still be able to remember when we were footloose and fancy free. There's too much danger of them constantly breaking the rules of social distancing when they are not being watched. And do you think they'll still wear their face masks when alone? They're kids, and for kids, that's not cool.
Then there's the school bus, classrooms, recess, lunch rooms and so many other activities where the temptations to break the rules of social distancing are at risk, and in my opinion, it's just not worth it. Start up the schools at the end of summer.
In the meantime, if you are not among those who will be returning to work, or any of the brave and courageous first responders of the medical or law enforcement fields, you still need to do what the nation has been doing for the past two months.
Stay home, follow social distancing rules and save lives by stopping the spread.
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