By: Rayanna Shwom
The impact of Covid-19 on the economy has been devastating. Millions of workers from businesses that are not deemed essential have been losing their jobs, leading to an unemployment rate that is approaching that of the Great Depression. Thankfully, Covid-19 cases have begun to decline recently, and testing for COVID-19 has greatly improved. As a result, on April 28th, Governor Cuomo rolled out a phased reopening plan to try to lower the unemployment rate without restarting the spread of coronavirus.
The goal of this plan is to work towards the full reopening of the state. This plan may go in action in a region after it experiences a 14-day decline in hospitalization rates. Primarily, businesses will open in phases. The first type of business to open will be construction and manufacturing, followed by industry. Next, “more essential” businesses will begin to open and finally “less essential” ones. However, large attractions and businesses that draw visitors will have to wait a prolonged period of time to reopen. All open businesses must work to protect both their employees and customers.
Each region that begins the plan must take certain precautions in order to stay open. Firstly, they must have 30% of hospital beds available. The region must also maintain appropriate and frequent testing. In addition, the region is required to monitor infection rate. If the infection rate is increasing, the region may be delayed in further reopening.
Another important aspect of this plan involves regional coordination. Each region is required to communicate with other regions to control the spread of COVID-19. In the meantime, Cuomo urges regions to revise tele-medicine and tele-education in order to benefit society. Finally, each region is required to appoint an institution to monitor each aspect of the plan and its effectiveness. Above all, however, essential workers should be protected.
Hopefully, this plan will allow for the reopening of regions across New York without another spike in infection rates. Sadly, schools in New York have closed for the school year. This decision was unfortunate, but necessary. If hallways were flooded with students, and just one was infected, it would quickly spread throughout the school. As a result, online learning will continue for the rest of the school year. While a September reopening is likely, it is not guaranteed. If people are unable to follow social distancing rules now, it decreases chances of life going back to normal.
For now, the best way to ensure that COVID-19 cases continue to decline is to stay inside and carry on with social distancing. The end of school is unfortunate, but hopefully “real life” will be back before we know it.