Austin, T.X. – On Friday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) announced an upcoming executive order that will allow businesses to reopen. According to his statements, Abbott states that Texas will “focus on protecting lives while restoring livelihood.” Aside from President Trump, this is the first focus on attempting to reopen the economy anywhere.
Abbott states that testing will be part of the plan. He announced that Walgreens stores across the state will soon have the ability to test 3,000 people per day through their drive-thru windows. This level of convenient testing continues to highlight the improvements in testing across the country.
Texas is the second largest state and has over 10,000 cases of COVID-19. Abbott’s comments highlighted that if Texas were independent, it would be the worlds 11th largest economy. This is important to note. It signifies that even though a state may have COVID, there are ways to get things back to normal.
Across the world, other countries are starting to work to get back to normal. Austria, Norway, Denmark and the Czech Republic all announced plans to reopen their economy. President Trump mentioned a new task force to focus on the reopening of the economy on Friday. Many call his remarks bizarre, but it shows that it is at the forefront of his mind.
Many would say the economy needs to remain closed for some time. A recent study suggests that the economy should remain closed until a vaccine has been developed. But this would put the lockdowns persisting for nearly 6 months. Our economy simply cannot handle this long of a shutdown.
Another measure announced recently was a joint partnership between Apple and Google. This would allow for people to be traced with their phones to notify if they came in contact with COVID-19. According to the article, this could trace up to a third of the world’s population.
Contract tracing is one of the things heard most often in talks about potentially reopening the country to anything resembling normal. Dr. Anthony Fauci has recommended potential immunity cards as a means to reopen. No matter what, the attention needs to be on reopening the economy.
Our country is in need of any resemblance of normal, but that seems far away. Some economists are predicting that recovery may take up to a year. As this economist says, a U shaped recovery is most likely. Spending from earlier this year will not recover simply by opening the economy. But it’s more than just the economy.
The very basics of our lives have been affected by these shutdowns. Families have been unable to see each other. Many needed surgeries have been postponed. People are unable to attend worship services. On this Easter weekend, Christians are unable to celebrate in their churches. It’s affecting so much more than just our wallets.
One expert suggested that the virus has changed Americans in 3 ways: values, needs and security. I agree that the virus will change us, but disagree in some ways. On the suggested change in security, I think the change lies in lost trust in the general public.
I do believe that some change will come in values and needs. The change will depend on how well Americans can realize the change, however. Most Americans may realize that they have different “needs,” but the wants will remain the same. As quickly as possible, Americans will return to their past ways.
But is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. At this point, we need normal. Most Americans would give anything for normal. Texas is choosing to take the lead. Will other states follow? I believe we will soon find out. I fully expect President Trump to announce the national reopening in May. Closure beyond this point may signify political closure more than needed closure.
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