INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Thursday, President Donald Trump says he will be announcing the first guidelines on how the government plans to reopen the economy once coronavirus cases begin to decline.
“It’s been a horrible time to see so much death and destruction,” said President Trump, “Especially when you come out of the greatest economy in the world.”
Locally, Governor Eric Holcomb suggests that he will institute a rolling lay out, and that it won’t happen all at once. He says the coronavirus data will be the driving force in their decision to reopen the Indiana economy.
“We want to make sure that employees have a very high confidence about the workplace,” Holcomb said. “While we may be one of the first to go into this, my goal is to be the first to go out.”
Jagdish Khubchandani is a health science professor at Ball State. He suggests that legislators take it a step further and reopen the economy on a county by county basis. He says every county has a different curve than the national coronavirus curve, as well as varying healthcare capabilities and personal protective equipment supply. If a county sees a steady decline in cases over a week to ten days, he believes they should be able to reopen businesses categorically.
“What we really need is to think global and act local. We need to go by the zip code,” tells Khubchandani, “We can divide the zip codes by A-B-C, high risk, medium risk, low risk. Stores by high risk, medium risk, low risk.”
Often the discussion of when to reopen the economy turns into an argument of human life verse economic stability. Some experts saying further loss to the economy can lead to a rise in suicide and depression. Khubchandani likens this discussion to that of alcohol or tobacco. He says both are the leading causes of heart disease but are also a sector of the economy that provides economic growth and jobs. Often people use alcohol and tobacco to reduce their stress as well.
“Like alcohol, we have a limit on it how much can you drink and drive. Similarly on coronavirus, can you reopen? How many services can be reopened?” Khubchandani questions.
Even if the economy were to open tomorrow, Khubchandani believes it will take a month before people feel safe enough to go out as normal.