COUNTERPOINT: When Should America Reopen?


Sophia Lewis-Mussa

San Diegans join forces to publicly display their frustration regarding the limitations set on liberties, leisurely activities and the openings of small businesses.

Dean Ormsby, Staff Writer

  There may not be a single person on this planet who is unaware of the ongoing global pandemic. Almost everyone has been affected by the virus in some way and, for most, it has temporarily stalled all daily activities, from working to learning to exercising and more. Enduring the symptoms of COVID-19 can be harsh for many, and for a small percentage of people, fatal. However, millions, or perhaps billions of people have been ruined by the economic fallout and dystopian lifestyle the world has been forced to adopt. It should remain undisputed that the economic and societal consequences of the new coronavirus are objectively much worse for the human race than the virus itself.

  Very few people would be surprised to hear the global economy has been spiraling in a downward trend, yet lots of people have turned a blind eye towards the severity of the economic downfall. According to the BBC, “In the United States, the number of people filing for unemployment hit a record high, signaling an end to a decade of expansion for one of the world’s largest economies ( Due to the major restrictions on which businesses are permitted to remain open, hundreds of thousands of Americans have been fired. When a small number of people are fired, it has an almost unnoticeable impact on the overall health of a nation, but when this many people are not receiving a monthly salary, a nation can quickly fall into an economic recession. Not only are these people not being paid, but many citizens have nowhere to spend their money. Removing businesses from our society completely destroys the way money is circulated, and is almost guaranteed to stifle the success of our nation, as well as the nations with which we trade.

   Another downfall that may have blindsided people is childcare. Many parents rely on outside childcare, babysitters, and schools in order to look after their kids during the day. Like many businesses deemed non-essential, childcare centers have closed, leaving many parents balancing working from home and taking care of their kids. Schools’ closure means that the parents of young kids are finding themselves liable to perform the duties of a teacher, helping their kids figure out Zoom calls and teaching them the things they need to finish the year. On top of this, many parents are struggling to find necessities like formula and diapers due to the buying panic, according to the New York Times ( Shelter-in-place orders have also made it impossible for those who employ private babysitters, because social distancing means they can’t have someone else at their house or send their kids to the sitter.  For parents who rely on older relatives, such as grandparents, to help with their kids, this is a struggle as well, because it  is recommended that older people, a high-risk group, avoid contact with anyone outside of their homes. If childcare centers are following CDC guidelines for sanitization and actively using masks, it’s reasonable for them to open at this point in order to relieve some of the stress parents are feeling right now. 

   As if all of the above wasn’t enough for parents, many split couples who normally co-parent from their separate homes are facing extra challenges. Navigating child custody is difficult on a normal day, not to mention during a pandemic. According to CNN, the number one issue seen in divorce and family courts is pertaining to custody during this time ( Kids are struggling because social distancing and shelter-in-place orders often mean that single parents can’t pick up their kids, so kids are losing time with parents, which negatively affects their lives. 

Furthermore, less-than-amicable relations between divorced parents may mean that they are weaponizing the pandemic in order to prevent one parent from spending time with the child ( Relaxation of social distancing orders could absolutely help parents return to some of their normal co-parenting routines 

  Despite the severity of the hospital crisis, there are many other issues caused by COVID-19, and some are arguably worse. In some nations around the world, double the amount of people are suffering from starvation compared to the yearly average. According to PBS, “ The United Nations World Food Program warned this week that as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the number of people facing a food crisis could double to 260 million worldwide” ( With poor funding caused by a mutilated economy, the organizations that were once dedicated to providing basic living needs to those living in impoverished nations are now unable to help, and thus humanity will pay the price of losing countless innocent lives. Hundreds of millions of people will suffer starvation throughout the rest of the year, an amount that is exponentially higher than the number of people who will contract COVID-19 ( “The secondary effects of this virus are definitely the worst aspect of it,” said Junior Jack O’Donnell. With roughly 3 million confirmed cases, according to NBC News, and the vast majority of those infected surviving, this hunger crisis could be much more serious than the virus (

  Overall, it is quite evident that COVID-19’s impact on our economy and society is much more significant than its ability to make humans sick. The forced shutdown of dozens of industries that were vital to the stability of the economy will likely force us into an economic recession that is comparable to (or worse than) the recession of 2008. People are forced to sit at home instead of work and thus, are not receiving nearly enough money to support a family. It’s become clear that Americans are oblivious to the severity of the situation, millions will go on to survive COVID-19, yet we will all spend decades attempting to clean up the economic disaster it has created.