Lockdowns Are Lifting, But The Pandemic Isn't Over
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Politics and Activism

Lockdowns Are Lifting, But The Pandemic Isn't Over

Making the loosening of social distancing a partisan issue rather than a public health one has obscured the fact that this is far from over.

Lockdowns Are Lifting, But The Pandemic Isn't Over
Image by Daniel Twal from Pixabay

Here's the good news; the number of new cases per day in the United States had begun to go down. As of today, most states in the country have begun to reopen, some in measured, phased re-openings, and others more hastily.

For a nation that has been inside and isolated for two months, the loosening restrictions have understandably been met with relief and enthusiasm. That makes sense. Any sign that things are getting better, any semblance of normal life, is going to have people wanting to slide back into their normal routines as quickly as possible.

But just because restrictions are lifting doesn't mean this is over.

Support for social distancing has quickly become an unnecessary wedge issue, with many Republicans calling the measures draconian and unconstitutional and Democrats urging for more caution in re-opening.

Making what should be a public health decision partisan has, in my opinion, done irreparable harm to the U.S.'s coronavirus response. When the leading voices on our next steps have become politicians instead of medical officials (and the leading medical figures, such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, have become less trusted by Republicans), this changes how Americans think about the virus.

When the pandemic becomes a question of politics instead of one for what's best for the people, it's easy to forget that just because we're re-opening doesn't mean the pandemic has ended, or even begun to ebb. The public health risk is just as prominent.

Now, I'm not against beginning re-opening measures in states that have peaked and are taking necessary precautions. I think these moves are necessary. However, I've seen far too many people treat the end of stay-at-home orders like a conclusion to the COVID-19 pandemic: as if it has given them not only permission, but encouragement to hang out in large groups and ignore precautions like there's no longer any risk present.

Just because lockdowns have been loosened doesn't mean we shouldn't be cautious.

That means wearing a mask when you're out in public to protect those around you. That means not attending large gatherings. That means restaurants and bars actually enforcing social distancing policies as they begin to welcome dine-in customers again. And that means being conscious of the fact that just because you don't have to stay at home anymore doesn't mean that the virus is gone, or even that its threat has lessened.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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