We’ve asked our readers to share their thoughts on reopening the county and the state. Here’s what you had to say.
With all the talk going on in Hillsborough County, Florida and the country as well, we decided to ask our readers what they thought the state’s reopening process should look like.
Governor Ron DeSantis said he plans to use “baby steps” while reopening Florida. The nitty-gritty details of what that guideline will look like has yet to be announced. The reality is the state is weighing two heavy burdens.
Only a fraction of the population has been tested so it’s hard to know what the true state of COVID-19 is in Florida. If we reopen and it isn’t under control as much as the data indicates, there will be a strong and sudden second wave. However, the longer we wait to reopen, the more people will face unemployment, the more businesses will close their doors for good and the weaker our economy becomes.
Members of the EPG have made it clear up to this point that they value people’s lives over the possible economic repercussions. Recent data has caused the conversation to shift. If COVID-19 is regressing, then perhaps it is time to start reopening. They wait now for the governor’s direction.
In Plant City, many residents fall somewhere in the middle: they want to go back to a new normal, but realize it’s a dangerous gamble. Others have strong beliefs both for and against reopening. For the past two weeks, we’ve asked Facebook users to share their thoughts. Here’s what you had to say:
Beth Lamb Parks: Just open it up. If people want to stay home they can. We can’t afford to keep this up.
Princess Torres: Open every thing restaurants separating tables barber shops near places hair salons by appointment only separate the chairs parks limited hours
Kelly Ward: Open our state back up!!! This charade needs to end now!!
Lance LeBerte: tell government to get out of the way and let Americans handle it
Amanda Wynn: Open up! For those that want to continue safer at home so be it! Some of us aren’t afraid to go out! Have you seen the grocery stores?? If I/you were going to get it we’d have gotten it already! I don’t wear a mask or gloves when I go out! I wash and sanitize my hands like I should and always have even prior to this virus! Those that have weak immune systems I can see them wanting to stay at home.
Carolyn Cauffman Quaintance: Let us get moving now. We can also set back and watch all of our small business’s go under. Social distancing can continue, small groups OK, but lets keep as safe as we can.
Michelle M. Phenicie: The main concern is small businesses but please remember even larger companies like Universal Studios being closed for long periods of time well lead to more unemployment for their employees too.
Balzer Karla: There was no real shut down here. People are selfish. They don’t care that people die because choose to go out and do their hairs, nails, eating out . Why can people be patient? You’ll see what will happen after things start to open up. It’s going to get worse and they will have to shut down for real and longer
Jane W. Poppell: My suggestion is to be very cautious in all areas. People have not followed the rules even under Stay at Home. What makes you think they will follow any new rules?
Brenda Boyd Anderson: The trouble with going back to work is that the daycares will become full again. They are already a possible cesspool of germs to begin with. But people are getting restless and need something to do. Along with the government not being able to get their money out to the people who need it because they’re not working. It’s a scary thing, even though I am going to continue to stay away and socially distance as much as possible, I do not want to take the chance of getting this virus. I’m pretty healthy, I’m pretty sure I got a good immunity system. But if it’s worse than the flu I don’t want it.
Phase the openings:
Bill Pollifrone: The medical experts said there’s going to be a resurgence no matter what we do and how big that will be determined on how quickly (or not) we reopen. We’re going to have to venture out, we just need to be safe doing so. From the EPC meeting, it sounds like it’ll depend on what the governor does will impact what is done locally. It sounded like all in charge are in favor of a phased reopening, so it’s probably happening soon.
Maggie Beard: I think one thing we need to realize is that this virus is NOT going to dissapear. Until a vaccination is created, and EVERYONE receives it, much like how small pox was eradicated, people are still going to get sick. And yet we cannot close the country down for months. So, yes I agree a re-opening is needed before the economic hardship totally destroyes people’s lives. Cautiously, with as much social distancing as possible, and facemasks. But we MUST get back to work.