Image obtained by Google Creative Commons
During the last six months, curfews and face-masks have become our new world. A world full of six-foot boundaries, the overwhelming stress of testing positive and financial troubles lingering in the back of everyone’s minds.
The state of California has been on a back-and-forth cycle of economical concerns and trying to juggle the new stream of Covid-19 cases. As of Dec. 9, Orange County has a rate of 30.3 cases per 100,000 residents (with a 10.9% positive test rate), launching a state-wide debate of whether or not to open California’s economy.
Although this may slightly reduce the amount of Covid-19 cases, there are other factors to take into consideration. Covid cases are surging. Unemployment rates are skyrocketing. So the ultimate question is: Which should be the greater focus of our state?
Consider the priorities of Californians. Of course there is a safety concern, but there is also a need to provide for loved ones, not to mention the burden of monthly expenses and taxes. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 6.7 % of people had been laid off as of Dec. 4, but the numbers will only soar following the new series of “stay at home” orders. And while I do promote and value the safety of the community, people’s lives simply cannot just come to a halt.
The spread of Covid-19 is preventable. Getting laid off is not. And thousands of Californians worldwide are on the brink of losing their jobs and businesses.
“[Small businesses] paid for all these measures like partitions, outside tables and heaters,” says San Diego County Supervisor, Jim Desmond, “they feel frustrated that even when they’re doing the right thing, they have to be shut down.”
People are obstinate and whether it’s in public or behind closed doors, they will find a way to gather despite the governor’s prohibition. The closing of the economy will prevent public gatherings but there is only so much that the government can dictate- meanwhile, businesses’ revenues are plummeting.
And while there have been a series of stimulus check propositions, the endless debates regarding additional financial assistance prevails. Through the past couple of weeks, families have been blindly navigating these unprecedented times, wondering the amount of aid they’ll receive- if any.
So the answer is- yes. The economy should open up but with safety precautions taken into consideration. Keep the elderly at home and let those with weakened immune systems protect themselves. But California can’t shut down forever. Business owners simply cannot stand idle and watch their money go up in flames.