Over the past few weeks, many states have slowly started to reopen in hopes of stimulating their economies. Loosening their restrictions on small business and social gathering guidelines, many states are allowing personal care businesses like barber shops and gyms to reopen with restrictions. Others are even allowing the partial reopening of recreational businesses, like restaurants and movie theaters.
These guidelines are not hard and fast, instead varying from state to state. Which businesses are allowed to reopen and to what degree varies, but the newfound freedoms still come with restrictions. For the most part, businesses are only allowed to expand their current services, maintain social distancing and sanitation or operate at a low capacity in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Amidst all of this, the population is asked to maintain social distancing and hygiene guidelines, such as frequent hand washing and the wearing of face-masks when in public.
The rate at which each state is reopening also varies. Some states plan to open in the near future, while others are already in the process of opening their economies. Many states are maintaining their stay at home orders, but plan to bring them to a close by the end of May or the first few weeks of June. Still, some states continue with their strict quarantine procedures. New York, for example, isn’t loosening its standards for quarantine yet, having been hit extremely hard by the pandemic.
All of this brings with it the question of where the priority in this pandemic should lie. For many, the danger that coronavirus presents is the most important thing to focus on, and its defeat is critical before a state of normalcy is reintroduced. Others cite the high rate of unemployment as a reason to focus on opening up state economies, regardless of how it will impact the spread of covid-19.
How long it will take the nation to fully reopen depends upon these two factors. While some states will inevitably try to return to a pre-pandemic state in a timely manner, questions of a second wave of infections is enough for many to wait for the situation to calm down before taking action.