Coronavirus Opinion

We should listen to medical experts before reopening Texas prematurely

Jiselle Santos/The Cougar

Multiple protests over reopening states — including Texas — have occurred around the nation in the last few weeks. The protesters demand that government leaders allow businesses to open again and let people return back to work as normal. They claim that the curve is flattening anyway.

They are correct that daily cases of the new coronavirus are dropping every day, but this is because stay-at-home orders are in place.

Gov. Greg Abbott has decided to let businesses reopen in Texas starting Saturday.

According to CNN, Texas public health officials believe that the state is not doing enough to increase testing availability. This means there is not enough evidence to warrant reopening.

Medical officials are not on board with Abbott’s decision, which is economically motivated. It’s important for people to have jobs, but it’s also important to prevent their death. Abbott should be ashamed of himself for making this dangerous call.

If we reopen, we risk the number of new cases increasing again, causing more people to become sick. We should listen to health professionals on when to reopen.

Additionally, if these protesters are worried about money from not working, instead of focusing on reopening, they should be advocating for better government assistance.

While there has been a drop in the daily number of new COVID-19 cases, this doesn’t mean we should stop the quarantine.

In fact, it is because of the quarantine that we have these lower numbers. If we immediately stop just because we see progress, coronavirus cases will increase in a matter of days.

Testing, while growing in availability, is still fairly limited. It isn’t wise to have things go back to normal without doing comprehensive testing.

Social distancing helped these numbers drop, so it’s clear we need to listen to what health professionals and scientists say. So far, scientists have warned against reopening America.

There is no reason to not trust medical professionals. They are more knowledgeable on the virus and it is their job to keep us safe.

Science has clearly shown that this virus can be spread through droplets, meaning that if a person coughs or sneezes near you, you risk being infected. It is common sense right now to stay away from people. 

Medical professionals do not have an ulterior motive in this. They are overworked and not given enough supplies to handle this pandemic. They don’t want this to go on any longer than we do. 

It’s understandable to get stressed and angry about this. Some of these people may be working class and their economic anxiety is validated, but they are focusing on the wrong solution. If we reopen now, it is likely that more people will die. 

Instead of protesting for reopening, we should advocate for better government assistance like stimulus checks that are more that $1,200. If they’re concerned about money for their families, this is what they should be organizing for.

Another important point is that some people advocating for the reopening of businesses don’t even care about flattening the curve. People like Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick say that risking lives is better than risking the economy.

“There are more important things than living,” Patrick said on Fox News on April 20.

Considering people who are most at risk for this virus are disabled, old and/or low income, this would insinuate that people in these categories are worth dying if it saves the economy. This argument is horrifying and very fascist in that it advocates a specific few dying to save the many. 

The economy is important, but people’s lives are and will always be more important.

So please, don’t go to protests. 

If you are angry at how the government has dealt with coronavirus, advocate for things that do not risk people’s lives.

Until medical professionals and scientists recommend a lift on quarantine, we need to stay home and advocate for our lives. 

For more of The Cougar’s coronavirus coverage, click here.

Anna Baker is an English sophomore who can be reached at [email protected]

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