Commentary: Why the U.S. should have opened up a long time ago

Business%2C+Covid-19

Center for Disease Control

This graphic is meant to demonstrate the levels of risk for American employees, with most of them being, “likely (to) fall in the lower exposure risk” level according to the CDC.

Since Covid-19 started last March, it has left a lot of people without jobs, without a house and without a general livelihood. 

This leaves the question; should we have opened the country up a long time ago? 

When you look at how the U.S. economy was doing before the pandemic, we were seeing some of the best numbers recorded in recent history. The unemployment rate in 2019 was 3.5 percent, the lowest rate of unemployment in the U.S. since 1969.

But then, Covid-19 hit.

Just in the month of July 2020, 580,000 Californian businesses were a part of the payment protection program, which is where businesses with 500 or fewer employees can get a loan.

In California, the unemployment rate last July was 13.5 percent and 9 percent in December.  The unemployment rate for the entire U.S. in 2020 was 6.9 percent.  

Although the unemployment rate has seen decreases, it was still 3.5 percent higher than it was in February of 2020, before the pandemic had started.  

Money was put towards small businesses and unemployment, but people still lost jobs and even more. California could’ve avoided high unemployment and having to support its jobless population if the state government had opened up the country way before the economy’s condition got worse. 

I think this is another reason why people want to recall Governor Gavin Newsom, because of how bad of a job he did in  helping California maintain its economy.

It’s not even just the small businesses and employees that are affected, it’s kids and adults, too. Especially the mental health of kids because they have to be stuck at home, unable to see their friends as much and just not getting enough social interaction. 

It’s not even just the small businesses and employees that are affected, it’s kids and adults, too. Especially the mental health of kids because they have to be stuck at home, unable to see their friends as much and just not getting enough social interaction. ”

— Brendan Alders

It may seem like it’s not a big deal but it is because having social interaction and just being outside has a huge impact on mental health.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, there is evidence from a study in Texas to suggest that 11 to 21 year-olds experienced higher rates of suicidal behavior in 2020 compared to 2019.

Another reason why we should’ve opened up a long time ago is the statistics related to Covid-19.

Even though it is difficult to calculate the exact case fatality rate (CSF) of Covid-19, or percentage of people infected with Covid-19 who end up dying as a result, due to a presumably lower amount of reported cases than actual cases and differentiations in CSF depending on the country, the U.S. is estimated to have a CSF of 1.79 percent. So if the numbers of survival are almost 100 and the likelihood of death is estimated to be at 1.79 percent, why is the country still in lock down?

Looking at the numbers and how we could’ve avoided losing jobs, money and so much more, it makes being in lock down seem useless in comparison. 

It makes sense that when this pandemic first started we went into quarantine, but even when statistical figures of recovery and death came out, we still stayed in lock down for much longer than we should have. 

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