Governments around the world have an important decision to make. Should they reopen their countries or states during the coronavirus pandemic? Stay-at-home orders keep people from spreading coronavirus. The shutdowns have had a high cost, though. Many companies are out of business, and millions of people have lost their jobs. Economies around the world have lost trillions of dollars. But what makes it safe to reopen?
If lockdowns continue, more people could lose their jobs, and more businesses could close. But if lockdowns are ended too quickly, more people could get sick from the virus. Some countries, like China and South Korea, successfully contained the virus during their lockdowns. But when those countries opened back up, there were new outbreaks of COVID-19. In South Korea, for example, there were 54 cases of the virus that were linked to one person. It’s harder to control those outbreaks when more businesses are open and people can gather in larger groups.
The United States has had more cases of COVID-19 than any other country in the world. Still, many states are reopening businesses and schools. Experts are concerned about the spread of the virus. States such as Florida and Texas have had to change their reopening plans recently as virus cases rise.
There’s no one plan that will work for reopening. Experts believe that any plan to reopen after lockdowns should include extensive testing so that people who are sick can quarantine and get the medical care they need. Reopening should also include tracing the contacts of sick people to help contain the spreading. No matter what rules are in place, people need to keep themselves and those around them safe. They need to wash their hands often, wear face masks, and keep a safe distance apart from other people.
What Do You Think? What are the possible good and bad effects of reopening after lockdowns? As your community reopens, how can you stay safe?
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