Opinion: to open, or not to open?

What's the best decision in opening PA amidst COVID-19?

Melina Weaver

Lives over money


Opening up businesses could not only put a hole in our population, but in their budget too. Keeping nonessential businesses closed will only not only save the population, but the businesses themselves. America can’t be stuck in this trade off of the economy over people’s lives. It is unethical and selfish. 

As the amount of Coronavirus cases seems to be declining in Pennsylvania, the state legislature has been planning on slowly opening up businesses. On April 17, Governor Wolf stated that they planned on lifting some restrictions and planned on slowly reopening the state on May 8. Most counties in Pennsylvania are now in the “yellow phase,” which includes opening in-person retail and child care services, according to the official Pennsylvania government website. Centre County reached “green phase” on Friday, May 29. However, we might not be in this phase long, and we could be sent straight back to the “red phase” if we see a rapid increase in cases. 

Pennsylvania is not in a state where it can underestimate the Coronavirus, especially after reaching over 5,600 deaths, according to the PA Department of Health’s website. The virus has taken the lives of nearly 380,000 people worldwide, according to the Worldometer, and it would be extremely irresponsible to do anything that would cause more deaths. Even though the number of cases may be lowering, as we continue opening everything it could cause another wave of the virus. Opening back up businesses is an irresponsible and uneducated choice. It could cause more deaths and it could even mean more financial troubles. 

If Pennsylvania’s government continues to open up the economy too soon, it means that most definitely, people will die. There is no doubt that the amount of deaths will increase dramatically. Opening up the economy means opening up large businesses crowded with people. It means more people will be in close contact with each other. People will end up unknowingly spreading the virus. That can’t be risked, not with the amount of deaths the country already has. People are more important than money and there is no changing that. The government shouldn’t even hesitate to choose lives over the economy. This situation really shows where their priorities lie. 

Some people might argue that we must open businesses back up to keep the economy afloat, but it’s possible that opening up too soon could also hurt the economy. There’s a big possibility that people wouldn’t even visit the businesses. This would leave the businesses open with no one visiting, with all their utilities running, and no profit to be made. Small businesses would have to close down, big businesses would have to make huge budget cuts, and the economy would continue to roll down the hill that Coronavirus put it on. 

America should keep its businesses closed until we know for sure it’s safe to open back up. Instead of listening to the moneybags, the government needs to listen to the actual healthcare professionals and focus on the lives of their citizens. Wake up America, and get your priorities straight.