The coronavirus pandemic has symbolically spun and shook our world right down to its core. We are living through a monumental and historical event in American history at this moment. These are moments that will never be forgotten. Life has certainly changed for all Americans and people all around the globe. Being quarantined, wearing masks and only leaving your home when it is an absolute necessity is the new norm in this day and age. The closings of small businesses such as restaurants, nail salons, barber shops, dealerships and many more have impacted daily life and the economy in devastating ways. Not to mention the high death tolls that are increasing everyday due to this breakout virus. With filings for unemployment benefits at an all time high, there are many individuals left with no source of income to take care of their loved ones, their daily needs, bills and their own expenses.
Decisions made by the federal and state government(s) presently regarding stimulus packages and the future of our nation are the only hope for some people who are out of a job, facing eviction and many other difficult circumstances. Federally, President Trump has expressed his wishes to open up the country as soon as possible and suspend the immigration processes in hopes to contain coronavirus case statistics. The states however, are trying to control and maintain their own jurisdictions in the safest way possible. Many governors have made their own decisions regarding states’ and businesses’ returning to normalcy and opening back up. This week Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia announced that gyms, hair salons and several other businesses would be allowed to open back up on April 25th, this Friday. This news has shocked many citizens and many individuals have mixed feelings about this controversial news. Hotspot states such as New York and Massachusetts have furthered restrictions and have made several other precautions to combat coronavirus’ rising cases. America is most certainly divided and jumbled while dealing with this issue.
There is no correct way, there is no right way to determine the perfect solutions to dealing with this conflict. Coronavirus has definitely compromised our democracy on all sides of the spectrum. Our concerns are heard even though our freedoms are compromised right now, especially here in Massachusetts. The Boston City Hall has done a phenomenal job reaching out to the public to hear our questions and our worries as well. Coronavirus has made us come together and has certainly made us recognize the distinctions between essential and non-essential workers, revealing a newfound appreciation for those compromising their health to be out on the frontlines. They are truly taking one for the team. In other areas however, there have been some anti-quarantine protests fueled by the belief that our freedoms and our democratic powers have been taken away from us in order to function as a society. Individuals are entitled to their own opinions of course, but the safety of others cannot be at risk because of controversies.
That being said, the state of Massachusetts, one of the new “hotspot” centers for the coronavirus, has now been put under some new precautions and orders in order to keep all residents healthy. The Mayor of Boston, Marty Walsh took to the media on April 20th to address new coronavirus updates stating that he was “disappointed” to see people playing contact sports, taking advantage of the nice weather, not taking social distancing cautions and other precautions seriously. He warned the public that coronavirus will get worse and restrictions will continue if the public does not heed to the CDC and the government’s warnings. Governor Charlie Baker just gave a coronavirus update today regarding public and private schools and other information as well. Baker announced that all schools K-12 and non-emergency child care programs will be closed through the end of the school year. However, for children who depend on getting a meal by going to school, there will still be facilities giving free breakfast and lunch all over the city of Boston. Baker has also heavily encouraged social distancing and requires mask wearing whenever going out into public. City park areas with playgrounds and other recreational facilities will be shut down, but open park areas will be open as long as the proper precautions are taken into consideration. All Boston Public libraries, youth facilities such as the YMCA, pools, gyms and the Boston Centers for Youths and Families will all remain closed. The MBTA has reduced its service; making individuals book trips three days ahead of time, not following their regular schedule, closing the CharlieCard Store and making passengers board at the rear unless there are extenuating circumstances. There are more locations providing COVID testing all over Boston. Text alert services are also in new languages including Somali, Chinese, Arabic, Vietnamese, and Russian. There is also a Public Health Advisory for everyone, not including essential workers, to stay at home from 9pm to 6am every day.
In these trying times, Governor Baker has made it his duty to calm the public and make sure that we are taking the right steps to combat this awful virus, which is taking so many lives and creating so much devastation. Statistics and studies are changing everyday. The best we can do as a nation is heed to professionals’ advice in order to return to our own normalcy eventually. Keeping a positive outlook and staying safe is the only thing that will help us get right back onto our feet.