Business as Usual—Is It Really Safe to Reopen the Country?

By Amie Hall

Theaters and sit down restaurants are allowing only 25% occupancy, while retail outlets are doing what they can to be as safe as possible.

Let’s examine that for a moment.

Take for example the idea of reopening sit-down restaurants. While limiting occupancy and spacing tables 6ft apart sounds good, servers are put at great risk to bring your dinner. You can’t eat with a mask on, and when your plates are cleared, the server is still touching things that were in your mouth. With one quarter of all carriers of the virus being asymptomatic, there is no way to guarantee their safety.

Oh, but the servers can wear protective gear.

Okay, answer honestly: would you feel safe eating at a restaurant where the person serving you was wearing a mask and gloves? Could you truly eat comfortably? And what about those who work in the kitchens? Do you really think it’s fair to have cooks wearing masks while over a hot grill or fryer?

In El Paso, the numbers keep going up and we are far from flattening the curve, despite the stay safe at home order that was in effect. It is so bad here, in fact, that Dr Fauci believes we are vulnerable and in need of more testing. The mayor of Las Cruces is actively warning his citizens against traveling here. Even in our sister city of Juarez, where the numbers being reported are unreliable, the blame for their infections is placed on those traveling from the US (i.e. El Paso).

Still, it is understandable that women need to get their hair and nails done, and people want to go have a beer and dance the night away. Businesses need to make money to stay open. I get that.

But consider that while the government is preaching about going back to work, supreme court justices are about to hear their first virtual cases. No trial in court, but over video. They want us to believe it’s safe enough for us to be out there, yet they are not doing the same. But then, judges are paid out of tax revenue, so…

A history lesson.

During World War I, there was an outbreak of Spanish Flu, now known as H1N1. The soldiers, returning from the war, infected many Americans. Social distancing was enacted, and the country shut down. As they saw a drop in numbers, and because of fears of impending economic collapse, the country reopened, and people took to the streets to celebrate. The second wave of the virus hit, which caused more deaths than the war, itself, had caused. In the end, it’s estimated that 50 million people died during the second wave.

Given El Paso’s continuing rise in numbers and deaths, it’s entirely possible that we will be the epicenter of the second wave of the coronavirus. And even if it’s not, based on history, science, and medical expertise, there will be a second wave. At this rate of reopening too soon, that second wave will be very deadly for Americans.

Here are some things to consider:

Trump initially told Americans that this virus wouldn’t be so bad and would disappear quickly. He was slow to close the country. He has pushed for treatments to be used without first testing, that later proved to be more deadly than just letting the infected recover on their own. This treatment, with ingredients that are also found in fish tank cleaners, caused a couple to become extremely ill, with the husband actually dying from ingesting this product. He claims he was being sarcastic when he talked during a press conference about injecting disinfectants to kill the virus. Yet, he will not take responsibility for those who ended up doing just that at home. He has cut funding to the World Health Organization for not doing more to warn us about the true dangers of this virus. Trump is calling for China to be penalized for this outbreak. He keeps stating that the virus started in a lab in China, rather than in a live animal market as we’ve been led to believe.

What’s my point?

He blames everyone but himself.

In the end, while there is an understandable fear of small businesses shutting down for good due to lack of patrons, you must consider that all government officials get paid through taxpayer dollars. So, of course they want us back to work as soon as possible.

Even when looking deeper into the rallies that have been held to reopen the states, there is evidence that those were funded by the alt-right politicians. Some state governors are merely parroting the president’s words. Perhaps they are afraid of federal retribution by way of funding cuts should they disavow his orders and keep things closed for the time being. After all, the haves make their money off the sweat of the have-not’s backs.

My opinion?

All I can say is that going back to work should be a choice until this pandemic is fully under control. I’ve never been one for controlling what people do with their own bodies. If Karen needs her hair and nails done, and she is willing to take the risk, let her. But don’t force the shop to open just to appease her.

Categories: Amie Hall, El Paso County, News

Tagged as: ,