With “non-essential” business closed and millions of people driven to unemployment, citizens began to demand of their governments to re-open the economy and let people work and play again.
Authorities were happy to respond with their solutions mixed with arguments about who gets the say of when America can be reopened and what hoops citizens must jump through to get on with our lives. Will only those “deemed” healthy by a statist government be allowed to return to work?
What will this “science based” re-opening look like?
President Trump announced on April 16th., his plan to re-open America will be done in three graduated phases:
Gatherings larger than 10 people are to be avoided and nonessential travel is discouraged. Large venues like restaurants, movie theaters, sporting venues and places of worship will be allowed to reopen if they “operate under strict physical distancing protocols,” according to the guidelines. Gyms will be also be permitted to reopen “if they adhere to strict physical distancing and sanitation protocols“. Bars, however, “should remain closed.” Schools and youth activities like daycare and camp that are currently should remain closed, and visits to senior living facilities and hospitals should remain prohibited. Businesses are required to close common areas where personnel are likely to congregate and interact, or enforce strict social distancing protocols.
In contrast to influenza, the risk of disease and transmission in children is very low in the case of covid. There was and is therefore no medical reason for the closure of elementary schools or other measures specifically aimed at children.
Social distancing should continue to be practiced with limitations of gatherings to no more than 50 people unless precautionary measures are taken. Schools and activities like day care centers and camps can reopen and non-essential travel can resume. Visits to senior care facilities and hospitals, however, will remain prohibited. The large venues, like restaurants, movie theaters and sporting venues, that were allowed to reopen in Phase One can remain open and are allowed to ease their physical distancing protocols to a “moderate” level. Bars can begin operating with “diminished standing-room occupancy,” while gyms can remain open with “strict” distancing sanitation protocols.
“Vulnerable individuals” can resume public interactions but should practice social distancing, according to the guidelines. Low-risk populations should still “consider minimizing time spent in crowded environments.” Worksites can resume normal staffing protocols without restrictions, and visits to senior care facilities and hospitals can resume. People who interact with residents and patients must still remain “diligent regarding hygiene.” Large venues can operate under “limited” social distancing protocols, gyms can remain open with “standard” sanitation protocols and bars can operate with “increased standing room occupancy.”
Read the federal Guidelines for Opening Up America Again
Of course, all of this will be done in accordance with strong testing and a demonstrable decrease in COVID-19 cases. Still, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, and Dr. Anthony Fauci said it would be a “new normal.”
- Continued expansion of surveillance and diagnostic test capacity along with rigorous contact tracing.
Now that the attention has been changed from hospital beds and ventilators, we are now focused on testing being a critical factor in returning to normal.
Enormous profits are being made by hospitals and testing labs with the price of testing ranging from $300 – $6,000 largely paid by insurance plans. [USA Today]
- Businesses allowed to open required to burden financial responsibility of testing and contact tracing.
As outlined in federal guidelines, businesses will now be required to conduct temperature-taking of employees, rapid COVID-19 testing of those suspected of infection, and widespread disinfection efforts in workplaces. They will be responsible for monitoring workforce for indicative symptoms, and not allowing symptomatic people to physically return to work until cleared by a medical provider. Businesses will also be required to develop and implement policies and procedures for workforce contact tracing following employee COVID+ test.
It seems to me this burden will be allot easier for those large corporations and chain stores who are more able to benefit from scale and pass on to the consumer the added cost. Small business owners already operating on small margins will be less able to manage a new federal mandate requiring them to spend huge sums of money in order to conduct business.
- Continued intrusion into the health care industry by federal mandates to hospital capacity and testing facilities.
- Continued mitigation with social distancing requirements.
Officials make clear that the return to normalcy will take time; with federal officials warning that some social distancing measures may need to remain in place through the end of the year to prevent a new outbreak. Store floors are now covered with signage to train people in social distancing, getting everyone accustomed to standing apart and conforming to crazy “non-science” based propaganda.
- Governors are “allowed” to manage their individual states. If states don’t perform as authorities dictate, Washington maintains their power to overrule state plans to enforce their guidance. Of course, the Federal government often influences States compliance by withholding funds states need to operate.