Readers tell us: How will the U.S. resuming business affect the coronavirus spread?

19

By Emily Woodbury

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, around the U.S. state governors are starting to open businesses, relaxing stay-at-home requirements, and encouraging more people to go put some of our stored-away money back into the economy.

Some states have fully reopened (bowling, anyone?), others are opening slowly, and others are hesitating – will this bring on a whole new wave of COVID-19?

A couple of weekends ago, on Sunday, May 10, we asked you what your thoughts on this were. We asked, “Are we cruisin’ for a bruisin’?” How do you think reopening businesses will affect the spread of the coronavirus?

According to the poll, 37 percent of you think it will increase the spread of the disease dramatically, and another 46 percent of you think it will increase the spread somewhat. A smaller 15 percent of you answered that you think it will not affect the number of infections, and 2 percent of you think it will actually decrease the disease.

Here’s what a few of you 50 commenters wrote:

Steve says, “I think it will increase the number of cases and unfortunately that will increase the death numbers also. We are relaxing too soon. We were in a major store yesterday, buying supplies to get us through the next two weeks. I was absolutely astonished on how many people were not wearing masks and not social distancing. That would explain the numbers we have here. I think we are moving too fast.”

Danny Evans wrote, “I believe that the economy must be opened up, but with that, I believe that we will see an inevitable spike in new infections. Even tho many of us will not venture out much and still others will be careful, many totally refuse to practice common-sense rules like social distancing. We are a mobile society and that contributes to the spread. There is no clear evidence that you can’t be infected twice either. None of us really know what will happen, but we’ll find out soon enough. Let’s hope and pray that it isn’t bad. Meanwhile let’s get back to our lives and be as safe as possible.”

And cee warns, “Hang on to your butts. This is not over and I won’t be going to a restaurant for a long time. But I hope it’s not a rampage that our hospitals can’t keep ahead of. Many thanks to our medical folks and first responders.”

Stay safe, my friends. Wear your masks, don’t cough on one another (and don’t go blowing out any birthday candles on a shared cake any time soon… remember when we used to do that?), and wash your hands!

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Billy Bob Thornton
1 month ago

Fact, as of today, May 30th 43% of Deaths listing the Wuhan virus as the cause, were nursing home residents. The primary reason for so much death, was the inexcusable actions by the govenors of NY, NJ, PA, ( and others). As an example NY directed infected elderly to the hospital, or returned to their nursing home from treatment at a hospital .

Fact; the NYS Dept. of Health, at the direction of their governor, issued a directive on March 25th, 2020 (Google it) to send patients who test positive back to, or admit them to, nursing homes they either came from, or assign them to, after discharge from the hospital. That directive was finally rescinded in early May, after untold carnage. All the time, the Hospital Ship Hope never exceeded 100 beds filled, out of the 1,000 bed capacity. The Jacob Javits Center which was equipped with 2,900 bed never exceeded 400 beds filled.

To cover the govenors tracks, the link to the March 25th letter was removed from the NYS Dept. of Health website. Ask yourself, why would he do that!

Point; because of these actions by incompetent govenors, the Wuhan pandemic was allowed to instill a belief that it was a much greater issue than the facts bear out. Yes, we should all be conscience of what is before us, but the CDC is now reporting that the actual mortality rate is approximately twice the rate of a severe flu season, like 2017-18, and going lower percentage wise as more data is crunched. Reading opinions is one thing, but knowing the facts is important. And NONE of this was reported on the main stream media. So, a vast amount of people, have no clue the underlying issues driving this unprecedented lockdown. It’s just not right, so do something about it. Research it, and tell others, it’s the only way to not let those who lead you, fool you.

James LaGasse
1 month ago

The spread of the virus will depend on people using common sense, it is a flu virus, wash your hands limit contact with others and try to avoid large groups. Sweden did not put any restrictions on it’s population, no business closure, schools are open, people follow their normal routines. There its business as usual and it’s infection rate is at 3% approximately on par with the surrounding countries. They didn’t even close their borders or restrict travel, it’s up to the population to act in a reasonable manor, my wife and some of our friends have immune deficiencies and we plan on maintaining social distancing until we see how things go, it’s our choice.

Billy Bob Thornton
1 month ago
Reply to  James LaGasse

Infection rate is one percentage, and certainly important. However, the mortality rate is what is the statistic that is important. The reason is net everybody who has contracted the Wuhan virus is diagnosed, but if death occurs, then that statistic is more of an indicator. Although Colorado, just lowered their ” cause of death” from Wuhan virus by 20%, because some in that state, changed the rules to increase the number, for whatever reason.

C.Lee
1 month ago

I chose “It will increase the spread of the disease somewhat”, but that’s merely a gut feeling with no science or special knowledge to back it up, based on what I see in our area. We live in the northwest part of New Mexico, and with the Navajo Nation (which is now the number one, per capita, hotspot for the infection rate and spread of the virus in the USA), right next door, we’ve learned New Mexico, particularly the northwest part, is not the place to be during pandemic. Frankly, the disease has spread like wildfire here, and I can’t see where closings, curfews on the Navajo Nation (mostly ignored), blockading entire cities (Gallup, New Mexico, 100 miles to the southwest of us, was blockaded by the state police and National Guard for 9 days straight by the Governor’s order, AFTER the disease had already spread into thousands of cases in the area), or stay-at-home orders, have helped reduce the spread at all. All it did was concentrate everyone carrying the virus for hundreds of miles around into the Walmarts, Home Depots, and other big box stores in the cities and towns of northwest New Mexico, where the virus is still spreading. There have been two deaths from the disease among employees at the local Home Depot, and there are dozens of employees out with the disease between the rest of the local big box stores. Thankfully, there have been recoveries as well.

Or governor is saying New Mexico will start opening for business, statewide, June 1st. But I can tell you this: I’M not ready to DO business. Our family locally includes adult children, ALL of whom are “essential employees” who have worked all along through this, and grandkids, and so far, all have avoided contracting the disease (at least as far as we know)…but I don’t feel it has anything at all to do with government action/inaction…it has everything to do with the fact that we all go through our daily public lives as if someone is trying to sneak up on us and stab us in the back, keeping our distance when others refuse to.

I’d say the the biggest benefit to reopening the state for business will be taking some of the pressure off the “essential employees” who have been hammered by this. Our currently opened stores still have limited capacity, but that means we still have lines outside, crowd control, constant grumbling, arguing, fighting, etc. Retail workers didn’t sign up for this.

As for my wife and I? We’re not heading for gyms, barbers, beauty parlors, restaurants, etc. on June 1st, or for the foreseeable future. At least not locally. Some of New Mexico’s counties have zero to a few dozen cases…we’d be comfortable there…but up here in the northwest we have thousands.

Cindy
1 month ago

Oh, and I forgot to mention that 1/2 of our deaths were in nursing homes. That alone has skewed the figures on how many in the general public were affected. Some countries didn’t take nearly the precautions the US did and ended up better off, so for all our precautions, I’m not sure it make that much difference.

Billy Bob Thornton
1 month ago
Reply to  Cindy

Bingo. Think about it.

Cindy
1 month ago

The latest studies from the CDC report that fomites do not spread the virus. We’ve also got disagreement on the efficacy of masks, especially cloth ones, with most studies saying they may help only minimally. So I don’t believe constant hand washing (more than usual) will make a great difference, not will masks. I also think that most of the people who were going to get andd die of the virus may already have done so. At any rate, the purpose of the shut down was to SLOW the spread so the medical system would not be over run. No spike happened, we did not overwhelm the medical system. To continue with a shut down now has gone beyond its original purpose and therefore should be discontinued. Businesses are going belly up, suicides are up, people are dying of things other than COVID because they can’t get proper medical care (some doctors have said more people will die of that than the virus). So it’s time to move on. Continue to take personal responsibility and precautions for yourself, but there is no reason to continue to tie everyone up for months on end. Our economy can’t bear that, and neither can our people.

Billy Bob Thornton
1 month ago
Reply to  Cindy

Couldnt have said it better myself, Nice job explaining exactly whats happening Cindy.

Gray
1 month ago

According to Dr. William Haseltine (elder NY physician, experienced in virus & vaccine development), Covid-19 is NOT a flu. And it is not to take lightly. He said: about 15% will never know they had Covid-19; some 60% will feel lousy, like a bad flu; some 20% infected will need hospital treatment for weeks or months. Some will die. Many will suffer severe organ or systemic damage, some long-term and some permanent. Children can suffer life-threatening whole-body attacks, and we don’t know the long-term effects of that.

A vaccine is no sure thing. Vaccines for the corona virus family are notoriously difficult to develop. Worse, people 60 years and older do not respond well to vaccines; our older bodies lose the ability to “remember” the immunizing effect of the vaccine. He explains that this is common knowledge in the medical/vaccine field. So most of us in the elder group have far less hope of protection should a successful vaccine be developed.

Dr. Haseltine stressed that we have means at hand to protect ourselves: social distancing, stringent personal hygiene, and avoiding unnecessary exposure risks. Simple. But not going away anytime soon. Also, not mentioned by anybody I’ve heard discussing this issue is cost: what is the cost of weeks or months of ICU hospitalization? If insured, how much will the co-pay (15% or 20%) be? How about personal bankruptcy along with permanent health damage? This is the FLU? Not hardly!

Richard Hughes
1 month ago

No matter what your opinion, now is not a time for politics or finger pointing. A great book, novel ( no pun intended) about a pandemic, which eererly parallels the conditions of today is “The End of October.” It is an easy read and contains easy to understand explanations of the various strains of viruses, bacteria and proteins that wreak havoc on the planet. “The End of October” by Lawrence Wright.

Billy Bob Thornton
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard Hughes

Oh it’s about how well the individual state govenors handled their states infections. NY, NJ, CT, PA, and a few others sent the virus into nursing homes and resulted in killing thousands, it definitely is the time for holding politicians accountable. Spread the truth, your loved one life may depend on it.

James LaGasse
1 month ago

It’s the flu, so far infecting only 1/2 of 1 percent of the population, we avoid the flu by frequent washing of hands, avoiding crowds and if sick STAY HOME. The spread of the flu is more dependent on citizens following common sense and not on political edict. Sweden refused to shut down their country, no school closings, no concerts canceled, all restaurants and bars stayed open and their infection and death rates are no higher than the surrounding countries that shut everything down. That should tell you that the spread of the infection is the responsibility of the citizens not dictatorial governments.

Gray
1 month ago
Reply to  James LaGasse

To say “their infection and death rates are no higher than the surrounding countries that shut everything down” is false; all reports from reputable sources dispute that claim. In fact, Sweden’s death toll is several times higher than their neighbors who chose NOT to pursue the “herd immunity” myth. Also not reported is the severe disproportionate effect on their older population. Can any nation justify sacrificing their elders in the name of achieving a dubious and doubtful goal?

Billy Bob Thornton
1 month ago
Reply to  Gray

Could ypu post a link to your sources, I don’t find that when I try and proff your statements, thank you.

Captn John
1 month ago

Remember those that died with every purchase you make made in China.

C.Lee
1 month ago
Reply to  Captn John

Agreed. I’ve not been a fan of China, or our sellout to them, for decades. Unfortunately, there are some purchases that are unavoidable. Hopefully we remedy that. But in the meantime, buying American at every opportunity has never meant as much as it does today.

Frank
1 month ago

The coronavirus doesn’t care what ANY politician says! We are on our own, folks; without any national leadership to deal with a national public health emergency! Get ready for round two!

Captn John
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

Without the leadership we have the 2.2 million deaths 1st mentioned probably would have been seen.

Billy Bob Thornton
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

But it (Wuhan virus) does care when the govenors of NY, NJ, PA and others, ordered tested positive for the virus either back to, or discharged into a nursing home, resulting in 43% of all death listed as the cause.

As far as the federal government’s role; deployed two hospital ships, the Hope (East Coast NYC), 1,000 beds, used about a 100. Army Corps of Engineers built 2,900 bed facility in the Jacob Javits Center ( in four days), beds utilized about 400. Shortage of ventilators, used powers to mobilize private industry to build 10,000 ventilators in 100 days. Good news, the need never materialized. THE SHORTAGE NEVER HAPPENED. As NO patient who needed a ventilator in treatment was not provided one.

Instead of opinion, facts pull back the blinds that so many are not aware of.

Great Job on the national level, state level, well thousands needlessly were infected.