Too Soon: Experts Warn That Rushing to Restart the Economy Could Be Catastrophic

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We’re all ready to get back to normal–but experts warn that we need to patient. Rushing back into our normal routines could lead a coronavirus rebound, erasing any good we’ve done by staying home.

Multiple models show that the death toll will only continue to rise in the United States as more people develop serious symptoms. However, we still have the ability to flatten that curve–if we continue to stay home as much as possible.

The White House coronavirus task force estimates that a total of 74,000 people will die by August–an marked increase of the 67,641 deaths predicted last week. The increase is due to several states throwing open their doors in an effort to return to business as usual.

Is Your State Open or Closed?

Here are the states that have loosened or lifted stay-at-home orders as of April 28:

  • Alaska: Salons and restaurants are open, with restrictions
  • Colorado: Certain retail and service businesses are open, with restrictions
  • Florida: Some local beaches are open
  • Georgia: All businesses except bars, nightclubs, and music venues are now open
  • Idaho: Businesses that offer curbside or drive-thru services can open
  • Kentucky: Non-emergency healthcare visits are permitted
  • Louisiana: Curbside and delivery services are open, all employees must wear masks
  • Michigan: Garden centers and landscaping companies are open, people can go golfing or hiking in state parks
  • Minnesota: Industrial, manufacturing, and office workplaces can reopen with stringent safety guidelines
  • Mississippi: Curbside and drive-thru retail businesses can open
  • Montana: Retail businesses can open, with restrictions
  • North Dakota: Only closed some non-essential businesses, no stay-at-home order in place
  • Oklahoma: Personal care businesses can open for appointments
  • South Carolina: Retail stores are open with restrictions; beaches can open as well
  • South Dakota: No stay-at-home order has been issued
  • Tennessee: Restaurants can open, as well as some state parks
  • Vermont: Some industries may return to work with restrictions
  • Wyoming: No stay-at-home order has been issued

If your state is not on the list above, it means that businesses are not yet reopened. Even states that are easing restrictions will still require people to practice social distancing, wear masks in public, and other protective measures.

Lack of Testing Means Uncertainty

Although many states–as well as President Trump–have laid out detailed plans for when it is safe to start reopening businesses, there’s a major problem. These plans rely on being able to test large chunks of the population. And right now, we just don’t have the capability to do that.

There are almost a million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in America, but experts warn that number could be much, much higher. Without widespread testing, contact tracing, and other tracking and management tools, we simply don’t know how many people are sick.

Now that we know asymptomatic carriers (people who have the virus but no symptoms) can spread the disease, it’s even more important for everyone to limit contact with the outside world.

We all want to go back to normal, but experts agree that patience and caution are crucial at this time.

Related: Coronavirus: When Will Your State Reopen for Business?