Some people want the state to re-open immediately. Others say we should wait.
Since March 23, Washington has been under a stay -at-home order issued by Gov. Jay Inslee. There have been protests all over the country due to the stay-at-home orders put in place by other states. People want the country to open. Medical professionals say that the stay-at-home order is necessary.
“I think we should reopen the state because of the economy. It’s already going down as you can see with gas prices. Many small businesses have already closed down,” said an essential worker and Highline student.
“Although opening our state would not bring them back into business, it would prevent more from closing down,” said the Highline student. “I wear a mask only if it’s required like at work. I still go out and hang out with friends and family.”
“Yes, so that people can maintain their jobs as much as possible,” said Lexie Ortale, a Pierce student. “I think that a lot of people would financially benefit from being able to have their jobs back.”
Another student said to reopen small businesses because local business owners are suffering greatly. They said that places like gyms and public pools should stay closed though, because it is easier to transfer the virus in crowded public places.
“I go out every once in a while. I don’t wear a mask to Starbucks or any drive-thru, but I’ll wear it to Costco or Home Depot,” said the student.
Simone Mercer, a high school student, said the state should not reopen until the chances of contagion are lowered. Mercer said that when Washington does reopen it should start by opening places with smaller capacity first and then opening the busier places.
“I think they’re opening at a good speed. The trouble is people who don’t obey the laws. I have been doing everything we’re supposed to be doing, but sometimes I can’t stay home. I go out for drives roughly once a week,” said Mercer.
“Listen to the public health experts. When and how they say to open is what we should follow. Public health experts’ priorities are to reduce human suffering and to save lives,” said Dr. Heather Price, a professor of chemistry at North Seattle College.
Saving human lives is priority number one. We can get another job, we cannot get another life,” said Dr. Price.
“I think the Washington governor is listening to public health officials and doing a phased reopening based on local conditions which I think is the proper, cautious approach,” said Wes Davison, a resident of Queen Anne Hill in Seattle.
Lori Nevin, a senior program manager, said Washington should open under guidelines to ensure people’s safety.
“I’m of a mind that if we reopen things too soon, this virus is going to come back hard. All of the sacrifices we have made up to this point would have been for nothing and our economy will struggle all the more,” said Brian Reilly, a resident of Edmonds.
“I am of two minds about reopening the state. On one hand, I am not desperate,” said Sara Johnson, a professor of business communication and leadership at Green River and South Seattle colleges.
“I can and am working from home, as is my husband. We have the technology that enables us to do this and for our daughter to participate successfully in online education,” she said.
Johnson said that she thinks the reopening needs to be extremely gradual with constant re-checks to see if the number of cases is going upwards. If that happens, she said, Washington should scale back and return to a stay-at-home order.
“An additional area that needs to be addressed in the opening is medical. Preventative screenings are significantly down. And ‘elective’ surgeries that are needed/vital and potentially lifesaving are not being done,” said Johnson.
She said her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at the beginning of March and had surgery scheduled for the end of March. However, it was cancelled because it was an elective surgery and the local hospital was being flooded with COVID-19 patients.
“So, yes, we should reopen but slowly, with constant monitoring and the potential to increase restrictions if the need arises. This will help to continue to keep people safe and allow needed medical procedures to be conducted,” she said.
“I know that some are desperate to be conducted. I know that some are desperate for income, food, and opportunities,” she said.
“But my mother is desperate for a procedure that if postponed again could result in the cancer metastasizing and becoming life threatening,” said Johnson.