An anonymous COVID-19 survey recently conducted by The Globe received many responses from Salt Lake Community College students and faculty.
Several respondents believe reopening Utah’s economy amid the coronavirus pandemic may have some serious consequences.
“Re-opening the economy would lead to more human interaction thereby causing rapid spread of the virus. Hospitals and isolation centers will become crowded and death will be on the rise,” said one anonymous source. “I think saving lives by preventing the spread of the virus is a better option.”
“The number of cases is still going up,” said another anonymous source. “If we open up, then it could cause a second wave.”
“I strictly believe we should not open the economy yet,” said Sydney Stansfield, an SLCC graphic design student. “The trend is still not decreasing, and opening will just make us get hit worse.”
“We should listen to the experts and make well-informed decisions based on the science and from what we have learned from past pandemics,” said an anonymous faculty member.
The effects of a pandemic are unavoidable
Past pandemics, like the Spanish Flu, have allowed public health officials to learn and prepare for future outbreaks, and has taught us how important good hygiene and social distancing can be when trying to fight a virus.
Pandemics have also showed us how much of an impact they can have on the economy. Currently, millions of people are filing for unemployment and many small businesses being forced to close their doors.
According to an April 9 report from The Washington Post, economists say the U.S. unemployment rate is now 13 percent, the worst it’s been since the Great Depression.
Slow and steady wins the race
Gov. Gary Herbert recently announced that Utah would begin loosening restrictions beginning May 1. However, he emphasized that it doesn’t mean the state is back to business as usual. Rather, the state will slowly transition back to normal.
Here are a few of the changes that started on May 1:
- Interactions in groups of 20 or fewer are allowed.
- Restaurants are allowed to reopen for dine-in services with strict procedures.
- Gym and fitness centers are allowed to reopen, if specific guidelines are followed.
- Hair and nail salons are allowed to reopen, if certain protocols are followed.
The governor also announced that over 2 million masks are accessible to Utahns, free of charge. Utahns may order one mask per person with one shipment per household (up to 6 masks). He asks that Utahns only request a mask if they do not already have access to one.
Visit the Utah Coronavirus Task Force website for more information about the state’s response to COVID-19.