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Biden + Governors Announce Plans for Full Re-Opening

July 1. July 4. May 31. These are some of the perhaps arbitrary dates that politicians have set forth as the days when their respective states/country fully reopens the economy by removing all COVID-19 Pandemic restrictions (exception: mask wearing). We know that vaccinations are on the rise, but what measures are expected to be met to allow us to fully integrate back into society in a normalized manner?


Starting with President Biden's proposed date of July 4, he expects seventy percent of Americans to have been vaccinated, and according to the White House, Biden and his administration will support small in-person gatherings during the holiday weekend.

Yet, the CDC currently does not support recreational travel of any kind, and some states still require masks outdoors, so time will tell if Biden delivers on his expectation.


In Pennsylvania, Governor Wolf plans to fully remove all capacity restrictions by May 31, and Andrew Cuomo (NY) will do the same by July 1. On the western side of the country, California Governor Gavin Newsom is aiming for June 15, and Texas--- you guessed it--- is already one hundred percent open regarding the economy.


The reality of COVID-19 mitigation efforts is that they differ vastly based on geographic location. While northeastern and midwest states have remained shuttered in reopening for over a year, southern states have generally preceded to reopen their economies much sooner. Texas reopened on March 10, Arkansas on March 31, Mississippi on March 2, with many of these states dropping the mask mandate.


As a high schooler, it is difficult to understand who to listen to when it comes to remaining cognizant about the threat of COVID-19. The state? The CDC? The World Health Organization? COVID-19 case statistics? The President? Everyone has a different opinion, and what makes it even more challenging is that the states that have reopened without mask mandates sometimes have lower hospitalization rates than states that maintain capacity restrictions, and these inconsistencies in data discourage some from wearing masks despite the benefits of doing so.


The virus is still in many ways a mystery, as there are lots of unknown factors that can influence its spread. What is your take on reopening efforts, and do masks matter if there are no restrictions otherwise?


-ThatPoliticalKid


Credits:

Official state websites for COVID-19 reopening planes (eg: texas.gov, pa.gov).




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