On May 8, the stay-at-home order was lifted for North Carolina. While I'm not sure about the 49 other states, I know that our Governor has a three-phase plan in place for how he expects everything to open back up over the coming months. This means that while we are allowed to leave our houses, there are certain expectations and safety guidelines we still need to be following.
Governor Cooper's three-phase plan is essentially a slow re-open of the state overall. In phases one and two, the state parks and beaches will re-open for recreational activity, and businesses will begin to reopen with very limited occupancy.
While I know we're all excited to have some of our normal routines back, the virus is still a major threat.
Just because we have some more freedom of where we're allowed to go and the number of people allowed to gather DOES NOT mean that the virus magically vanished while we were isolating. We still have no known cure for COVID-19 and there's also no preventative vaccine, so you are still responsible for keeping yourself safe.
Protesting also doesn't fix the virus — in fact, protesting in large groups just spreads the virus further.
We also need to make sure we're washing our hands frequently and sanitizing accordingly. Overall, we just need to keep in mind that we are not in the clear yet and it may still be a while until we get close to being completely safe. High-risk individuals need to maintain heightened precautions for the time being.
On the bright side, small businesses will be reopening soon (hopefully), and they're going to be counting on us more than ever. So, if you do go out when all the things start to open, shop local, eat at small restaurants and mom and pop type places. They've definitely missed us, and I know I have missed them.
Enjoy your freedom, but stay safe and healthy y'all.