The time to re-open state, national economy is now


(Editor’s Note: Viewpoint submissions on this and other topics are always welcome as part of our goal to encourage community discussion and exchange of perspectives.)

May 9, 2020 — The lockdown has bordered on ridiculous. It was done two months ago based on millions of people getting the virus and hundreds of thousands dying. 

We were told a temporary stay at home order was necessary until the curve flattened. Well, the curve has flattened and America as well as Oregon is flatlining

We were also told the healthcare system would be bloated with sick and dying people. Now, the healthcare system is laying workers off and losing millions of dollars.

It is easy to use political jargon like “look at the science” or “look at the numbers” to get people to follow you. But if you really do look at the numbers, it tells that this lockdown has surpassed its usefulness. 

In Oregon, we have 4.3 million people with 2,579 positive cases (as of May 1 according to OHA) and 104 deaths. These numbers are very low compared to a bad flu season. 

Most of the positive cases and deaths are people over age 65 who had other comorbidities (many in nursing homes). In Lane County, we have 50 cases with 2 deaths (as of May 1 according to LCPH), which has remained the same for the last 8 days. 

Lane County has a population of 380,000 people. There is no longer a need for a lockdown; perhaps it should apply only to those most at-risk, like nursing homes? There is no longer a reason to lockdown healthy people who are now trained to do “social distancing” and hand washing. 

This is killing the economy and it appears there are some who do not care. It is difficult to get current unemployment figures as the federal and state governments seem to always be either months behind in the data or unwilling to provide the actual figures. It is now estimated 30 million U.S. jobs have been lost in the past 10 weeks. 

There are many small and large businesses that will never reopen. Those most hurt are the lower- and middle-class people with families. Do we not have enough intelligence in our political system to make the needed corrections to get the recovery going again?

There are many states with low Covid-19 figures like Oregon. It is time to reopen and let businesses use their ingenuity to keep customers safe while serving us. There may be some states that refuse to open as they wish to be overly cautious and wait until there are zero new cases or a vaccine is available. If that is the case, then perhaps each city that feels it is safe to reopen should go against the state’s orders and become a “Sanctuary City.” If this works against the federal government, then it must be acceptable against the state, right? 

Look at California: it is a “Sanctuary State,” so surely its residents would applaud any California city becoming a “Sanctuary City” by not following its governor’s edict.

What do people think will happen in another few weeks when nicer weather appears around the country? The younger people — ages 16 to 45 — will not take to being isolated and will flock to parks, beaches and other hangouts. People will revolt and some of that is happening right now. It will be difficult for some states like New York and California, which have let convicted prisoners go free to protect while arresting some citizens for going outside and exercising their rights.

And the worst may be yet to come: How will federal and state governments live on half the tax revenues they will receive next year due to the terrible economy that has been created? Heck, they are not able to function on the taxes they receive now, let alone 50 percent’s worth.

The economic impact has mostly been ignored up to this point — talked about and debated but ignored. We can no longer ignore it as it could take two to four years to get the job growth back. 

The time to open the economy is now.

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