Community responsibility

Daniel Khalil, Staff Writer

With case numbers of COVID-19 decreasing , businesses are starting to open, but just at a lesser capacity. However, just because it is allowed, doesn’t mean it is something that businesses should do.  

While it’s good that some businesses will be allowed to open, especially for non-essential workers who need to make a living and support themselves or their family, I think that we need to take smaller steps than immediately allowing 50 percent capacity. The peak of the rate of infection is now behind us, but that doesn’t mean that it’s completely gone. If we think that the pandemic is over and start telling people it’s okay to start going outside again, it is likely that we will see the virus flare up once again. The whole reason we went into quarantine was to stop this from happening. People will most likely get infected from people who don’t practice safe hygiene, or from people who have been infected the whole time but haven’t shown any symptoms. While most people are healthy and don’t have any autoimmune disorders, the point of social distancing is to prevent people who may be asymptomatic from  infecting someone who could be at-risk. Let’s take the Stonebriar Mall in Frisco for example. Before the pandemic, thousands of people went there every day. That means that even if the capacity is lowered, the amount of people still allowed in that building are way higher than simply a supermarket. 

The state has said that the current 25 percent capacity limit, which is soon to be 50 percent, is reflective of the amount of cases of the virus. This means that it can change based on the amount of cases found, but that number isn’t accurate. The data that’s coming in is not indicative of the true number of people actually infected. Without widespread testing, those numbers are much lower than the number of cases there actually are. This number also only shows people who decided to get tested. This isn’t including people who haven’t had any symptoms whatsoever (and therefore have no reason to be tested), or even people who couldn’t get access to a test to begin with.

Opening businesses can be a good thing, but I don’t think that it’s a responsible thing to do until larger amounts of people have been tested. Without proper data gathering, re-opening businesses might even make the situation worse.