How long should we really keep quarantining?

Is it still really necessary for these stay-at-home orders to be so strict?


Leader Publications

“Stay At Home, Save Lives” continues to be the slogan millions of individuals live by.

It has now been 63 long days since I last physically stepped foot in any public place.

No restaurants, no banks, no convenience stores, no shopping malls, no movie theaters, no school. None of the above. You name a location, I have not been there; at least in the past nine weeks, that is.

Quite obviously, there is a valid reason for why I have not been out in public lately. That reason is the current ongoing COVID-19 pandemic/crisis/outbreak, or whatever else it can be called.

By not going into heavily populated areas and public spaces, one’s risk of contracting the deadly virus is diminished. Simply put, to stay safe during this time, the recommendation is to not go out in public unless you have to. This protocol of staying at home because of health hazards is, of course, known as ‘quarantine’.

While I understand that staying at home is necessary for staying safe, I do have a bit of a dilemma with it: How long should people be forced to keep up the social distancing to the extreme extent of the current measures in place, the “stay-at-home orders?”

The American people and people from all other countries around the world need to realize something: this novel coronavirus is most likely not going to randomly disappear anytime in the next several months.

Many individuals still believe that we, as humans, must continue to stay quarantined in our homes until it is ‘safe enough’ to go back out into the world.

You know— open stores, go to gyms, head to amusement parks, and be able to socialize and congregate in large groups.

But after several long weeks now, the overarching question still remains a pressing one: When is it really ‘safe enough’ to start going back to what we know as somewhat normalcy?

Well, there may not truly be one correct answer. Recently, there have been so many differing opinions, theories, and thoughts about how and when to “re-open America,” mostly meaning the economy.

Millions of workers are eager to return to their jobs as well as ‘reclaim their livelihood.’ And, despite the virus’s seriousness and danger it possesses, millions of Americans from different states all over the country still want businesses to reopen and to return to pre-pandemic life. And, in many cases, some of these people have decided to express their displeasure of Coronavirus-related restrictions by attending “anti-lockdown protests”.

Although I think that these government protests are pointless and unnecessary, I do understand how and why some people feel the way they do: angry, upset, or frustrated. It’s a reasonable way to feel during this unprecedented and unexpected time, especially after weeks and weeks of lockdown.

From my perspective, I see it like this: By now in almost late-May, most businesses and establishments should be legally permitted to reopen in all U.S. states— with the significant exception of sit-down restaurants.

Sit-down restaurants would not be safe to open now because there is no way to ensure safety within them, especially with so many people handling food and using plates and utensils.

It would be far too many people going in and out, and the virus would likely begin to spread like wildfire, even with excessive cleaning procedures.

Aside from restaurants, I feel that retail stores should legally
have the option to open up their establishments. If and when a retailer does open up their store, wearing face masks and social distancing measures should still remain in full effect for the foreseeable future. 

However, at the time of this article’s publication, non-essential businesses are still not permitted to open up in the state of New Jersey.

If this does become the case and retailers are permitted to open up, it is a good situation. The people who choose that they want to go leisurely shopping can do so, and those who want to stay quarantined at home would of course be allowed to for as long as they want.

The thing that many “pro-lockdown” advocates (in support of continuing to quarantine) forget to realize is that just because stores open up doesn’t mean they have to go there. No one is going to force them to go shopping.

On some days, I wake up feeling depressed that I can’t really leave the house. I wish I could go to the mall. I want to go back to school. I feel frustrated. I feel irritated. I feel angry. I completely understand the feelings of desperation, uncertainty, and restlessness. But quite truthfully, there’s not much I can do about the current situation besides try to keep myself healthy and safe.

Ultimately, in the coming weeks, both the federal and state governments will take cautious steps in order to slowly and carefully reopen the American economy while ensuring that the people of our country remain safe. This is the correct way in which to reopen the nation, and I applaud the incredible efforts of our health experts and epidemiologists for keeping us safe. I cannot exactly say the same about the leadership from our federal government and our president.

We’ve got to stay as safe as possible, but we also cannot hide out from the world for the next 3, 6, or even 12 months waiting for a vaccine to combat this horrible disease. A strong balance of precautionary measures and people’s will to behave responsibly will determine the fate of our country’s public health in the coming months.

Safety, wisdom, and courage will prevail over fear and help us defeat this virus.