Updated: Sep 18, 2022
By Eliana Pasternak
Contrary to the idea that reopening businesses and public areas is the best way to handle the coronavirus pandemic, continuing to maintain social distancing is key to flattening the curve. Texas and Florida, among other states, will be lifting quarantine measures in the coming weeks, despite many health officials’ warnings against it. In those states, facilities such as retail stores, movie theaters, and malls are among the businesses that will reopen their doors shortly. Social distancing will be hard to enforce in these areas, that is if officials make any effort whatsoever, and decisions like these can lead to disastrous repercussions.
Opening recreational, non-essential stores to the public misleads society. Fears of contracting the virus could fade away while the dangers remain ever-present. Any efforts to flatten the curve could be stopped, if not reversed. Some government officials seem to think that a lack of cases means that an area is safe to reopen when it really just shows that social distancing has worked so far. Carelessness could undo this progress.
The northern Japanese island of Hokkaido serves as a cautionary tale as to why stores should stay closed. Hokkaido faced the coronavirus very early on but lifted lockdown measures mere weeks after putting them into place. Less than a month after relaxing mandated social distancing, civilians faced a second wave of the virus that was much more violent than the first. Haikkaido’s citizens claim that they felt comfortable leaving their homes and breaking quarantine because the number of cases had stabilized and the government claimed to have everything under control. Sound familiar? To attempt to prevent a disastrous second wave of coronavirus in the United States, officials in Hokkaido warn leaders not to fall for current encouraging numbers. Stability means that the lockdown is working, not that it should be removed. Despite the frustration that accompanies the quarantine, leaving the house too soon will be extremely detrimental later on.