In March, state bureaucrats and elected officials set long-term shelter in place mandates. Little was known then, and even now, about the virus’s long-term effects and how we can best combat it. In the past, traditional quarantine entailed isolating those that are sick, not whole populations, and in doing so, the economy wasn’t shut down overnight.
While COVID-19 threatens our health, lawmakers must also take into consideration the consequences of rampant unemployment and isolation both have on an individual’s wellbeing.
This past week, unemployment numbers topped 22 million people, a number higher than that reached in the Great Depression. According to a 1979 study every 10% increase in the unemployment rate leads to a mortality rate increased by 1.2%, suicides by 1.7%, arrests by 4%, and reported assaults by 0.8%.
To add to this, state lawmakers, like Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer, have used fear as a means to subjectively choose which businesses and services, like abortion, are deemed “essential.” In doing so, they have not only closed the doors of many successful business, but also forced individuals to become unemployed.
In response, peaceful protests organized by grassroots efforts are popping up across state capitols. It is vital that we tell our leaders that the consequences of a long-term economic shutdown outweigh the impact of the Coronavirus. Rather than enact further draconian stay at home orders and Congressional economic relief packages funded by taxpayers without deregulation or tax decreases, our leaders must work together to ensure realistic plans are drawn up that allow for immediate, safe re-entry into the economy. States can follow President Trump’s guidelines on opening up and do so fast.
We encourage you to tell our country’s leaders enough is enough and organize your own grassroots protests. We must get back to work and continue investing in our livelihood and the economy.