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Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

Why America struggles to reopen against the coronavirus

Anti-maskers+display+their+signs+discouraging+others+from+wearing+a+mask+and+protest+the+closure+of+the+nation.+The+crowd+holds+up+American+flags%2C+equating+national+freedom+to+the+mentality+of+rejecting+practicing+safe+guidelines.+
Peter Zay / Anadolu Agency / Getty
Anti-maskers display their signs discouraging others from wearing a mask and protest the closure of the nation. The crowd holds up American flags, equating national freedom to the mentality of rejecting practicing safe guidelines.

The question of whether the nation should reopen and return back to normal hangs in the air like a thick fog, refusing to retreat and hovering among us. As of now, there are about ten million cases and a quarter million of deaths throughout America, and a million cases in California alone; there is no telling what the future has in store for us.  

What seemed like an extended break back in March turned into a worldwide shutdown that spanned the rest of the year and will likely spill into next year as well. People all around the world can only hope the future will be more forgiving than now. 

However, hope is not reliable when it comes to a worldwide pandemic. The prospect of whether to reopen our nation’s schools, gyms, and restaurants, is more relevant than ever. Our nation tried to reopen too soon, underestimating the virus and hoping the pandemic would retreat. It quickly became clear that this decision was a mistake, as cases surged once again, settling comfortably into an incline over time. 

It is true that the nation cannot be kept closed for much longer because the economy thrives on human interaction and because businesses are not getting the same traffic. Nonetheless, America failed to handle the incoming virus, which had much to do with the decisions of our country’s leaders, and with the commencement of the 2020 election. The fate of America lies heavily in the hands of the candidates. 

On one hand, current US president and Republican candidate Donald Trump makes the reopening of the nation a priority at any cost, stating in the final presidential debate: 

No, we’re not going to shut down. And we have to open our schools… We’re rounding the turn. We’re rounding the corner. It’s going away.” 

As much as the president of the United States wants to deny it, this mentality is why COVID-19 cases are rising daily all around the world. Opening up schools will endanger the younger generation, and contrary to popular belief, we are not immune. Schools are especially in danger because they have a dense population. Alongside that, schools without adequate funding will not be able to create a safe environment for their students.  

We have to acknowledge that the virus is contagious, and that it will spread as the nation reopens. In fact, schools in Salt Lake City, Utah that tried to reopen were met with a huge spike in cases. The unpredictability of the spread of the virus should be firmly kept in mind no matter what. Reopening will vary for each school, and it is important to know how to prepare and address the necessary questions that come with each, individual district. Ignorance is not enough to will it away; we must take action to make sure we can create a safe nation. 

America was not prepared for the pandemic, and the nation certainly did not adequately take control of the situation. Moreover, schools and organizations need resources and money to reopen safely, and it is best to have a plan to guide us through the struggles. Former vice president and president-elect Joe Biden gives an outline of a plan, saying “I would make sure that we set up national standards as to how to open up schools and open up businesses so they can be safe and give them the wherewithal, the financial resources to be able to do that.” Biden’s approach to the virus is one America needs to adapt. COVID-19related deaths desperately need to climb down from the ranks before we can even think about lifting restrictive measures across the nation. America has lost its footing in this battle and needs to formulate a plan in order to conquer this virus. 

It should also be noted that recently, countries in Europe such as France and Austria transitioned into the safe zone, but faced a resurgence of cases when they fully reopened. The result of the skyrocketing cases was another lockdown all throughout parts of Europe, causing a significant setback. If other countries cannot suppress the virus, there should be much doubt that America can pull it off with its population density and failure to contain the virus when it began. The unpredictability with this virus is a danger that should be reckoned and followed very closely. 

In addition, there are notable issues within America that may jeopardize our wish to reopen, specifically, healthcare. America’s healthcare system simply cannot support the population. While most people may have access to health insurance, it is not uncommon for people especially people of color to struggle to afford healthcare, causing them to have no choice but to forego it. Healthcare is a right that needs to be extended to include everyone, regardless of socioeconomic background. Universal healthcare obviously cannot be granted overnight, but if America is serious about reopening, healthcare is a necessity, and it must become affordable and available for everybody 

Also, it should be noted America is simply too large to be able to control and monitor the virus. Take for example, South Korea, a country that has had much success with containing COVID-19. South Korea is 99 times smaller than the U.S., making it easier to observe and supervise the virus. Testing and monitoring the virus is very well carried out and contained. Most importantly, healthcare in South Korea is readily available and affordable throughout the country. Furthermore, citizens of South Korea do not oppose the mandatory mask rule along with keeping the promise of social distancing during the lockdown. Perhaps this can be attributed to the  collectivism Asian countries were founded upon, but America has much to learn before taking a shot at trying to reopen.  

America must take serious measures to keep us safe by implementing safe practices while easing into a soft reopening of the nation. We should not rush, especially when peoples’ lives are on the line.  

Now more than ever, we as the people of America need to work together. If California and the nation wants to reopen, we as Americans need to push aside our differences, discomfort, and panic in order to work together to fight this disease.  

Americans need to wear masks, social distance, and respect others who do not have the privilege of choosing to stay safe. We must remember this is not a fight amongst ourselves, nor between races of people. We must adapt a sense of collectivity because we are fighting for our survival, not for our comfort. Although we may be driven apart during this election, we need to acknowledge that America needs help, and we need it now. 

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About the Contributor
Kaylynn Chang, Editor-In-Chief
An avid bookworm, journalist, and sushi lover, head day student prefect Kaylynn Chang (‘23) comes back to the Webb Canyon Chronicle for one last year as Editor- In- Chief! If you want someone to cook you a heartwarming meal, give you the best book recommendations, or help you with homework, Kaylynn is the right person for you. Equipped with a loud whistle, she manages to successfully get her voice heard through creative writing and independent journalism, as well as helping others achieve the same by leading affinity groups. She wants to continue using her talent and passion for justice for a career in law or politics after her Webb experience is over. When she’s not learning through everyone else’s life stories and memoirs, Kaylynn enjoys working out, cooking Korean food, and listening to her favorite songs by Cigarettes After Sex. From baking delicious snacks to giving you the most genuine advice, Kaylynn has the perfect recipe for looking after others and giving back to the community. As Editor-in- Chief, she hopes to make the WCC an accessible resource for all students and aspiring journalists to learn and share news about Webb.  Favorite Song: “Sunsetz" by Cigarettes after Sex 

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