Several states are gearing up to start letting businesses gradually reopen, and not a moment too soon. All around the nation, Americans are signaling that they have had enough, and while some political leaders want to continue the lockdown indefinitely, citizens are assessing the relative dangers of the disease compared to losing their businesses, jobs, salaries and homes, and judging the latter as worse than the former.
For instance, in Dallas, Texas, the owner of a hair salon defied the shutdown last week and reopened, while observing strict hygiene standards. She said if she'd waited any longer, she would have to fire her employees and declare bankruptcy. She's been ordered to “cease and desist,” but she’d had enough of ceasing and desisting, and she has plenty of support.
Meanwhile, the Dallas suburb of Colleyville declared that business owners couldn’t wait any longer and some could start reopening in defiance of state and county leaders.
And this is in Texas, where Gov. Greg Abbott has been one of the most lenient, pro-business leaders. In states such as Michigan, where Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has been channeling Mad King George and imposing inexplicable, rights-crushing edicts, many people are on the verge of rebellion.
I sympathize with the protesters, but if I may offer one bit of advice: Please remember that while the threat of the virus may turn out to have been wildly overstated, we still don’t know its full effects (stories are circulating of possible links to blood clotting and strokes in younger victims, among other unknowns.) And while far more people than we initially knew were apparently exposed to it and suffered little or no ill effects, for those who are vulnerable, it can be a terrible, even fatal disease (nearly 55,000 deaths in the US so far.)
If you are going to protest to reopen the government, please do so responsibly. Wear face masks, keep up social distancing, and don’t shake hands with strangers (I’ve seen video of protesters violating all these common sense rules.)
Even if you don’t believe the coronavirus is as bad as advertised, why take unnecessary chances? If not for your own safety and that of your family and community, you should follow the health guidelines at protests to prove that you are responsible citizens who can be trusted to go back to work without spreading the disease. Consider this: If you don’t, you’re giving PR ammunition to the people who want to keep America locked down forever.