Point/Counterpoint: Should America Shut Down or Open Up?


OPEN UP: New York City to Close Schools, Restaurants and Bars. That was the headline of The New York Times on March 15, 2020. Soon after, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.6 which declared New York in a State of Emergency. This order was nicknamed “New York State on PAUSE” as Governor Cuomo and his team tried to get a handle on the COVID-19 outbreak.
Since this time, Governor Cuomo has been praised for his handling of the situation. He even received an Emmy for his response, yet the media fails to mention the real facts. This shutdown has almost crippled the entire economy of New York State. Since March 2020, the unemployment rate of New York State has reached as high as 16.2%. Think about that: 16.2% of New York residents are unemployed because of this shutdown.
There must be an upside to this right? The whole point of the statewide shutdown is to limit the COVID-19 deaths. That intent is far from true. New York State has experienced 252 deaths per 100,000 people, over 8,000 currently hospitalized, with over 9,000 daily cases. Those numbers seem a little high for a state that is supposed to be “controlling the spread.”
Let’s compare these statistics to a state that has remained an “open” policy in regards to controlling the outbreak. I think we can all agree that Florida has been one of the leading states in its “open” policies. Florida has about 150 deaths per 100,000 people about 5,000 currently hospitalized, and about 7,400 daily cases. All three of these statistics are significantly lower than New York.
It is also important to recognize that infection rate only matters if it results in a lot of deaths. High infection rate is insignificant if the mortality rate is respectively low. The argument that Florida has more total COVID-19 infections is valid. However, the deaths are still significantly lower when compared to New York. As of March 24th, 2021, the total cases in New York is roughly 1.79 million with 48,977 deaths (about a 2.74% mortality rate). Compare that to Florida with 2.02 million cases with 32,819 deaths (about a 1.64% mortality rate).
Some other stats: Florida has a larger population than New York, Florida is more disproportionately elderly, and Florida has been visited by more potentially infected tourists. People can say whatever they want in the media, but the fact of the matter is that numbers don’t lie, and these definitely speak for themselves. Governor Ron DeSantis (FL) has done a much better job than Governor Andrew Cuomo (NY).
COVID-19 has been politicized all the way through by the media and left-wing radicals like Cuomo who just wanted to cripple the economy to make former President Trump look bad, coming up to the Fall 2020 election. This idea is proven with the fact that on January 11, 2021, just 9 days left in President Trump’s term, Gov. Cuomo decided to begin opening up New York. Seems relatively convenient. I think Gov. DeSantis said it perfectly: “They [Democrats] don’t care about the facts, in fact they will ignore facts that are inconvenient for their narrative and even concoct conspiracy theories…But here’s the thing, people aren’t buying it because people vote with their feet and they are flooding into this state.” President Biden was even recently quoted saying, “If we do this together, by July the 4th, there is a good chance you, your family and friends can get together in your backyard or in your neighborhood and have a cookout or a barbecue and celebrate Independence Day.” If we need permission from the President of the United States to celebrate Independence Day, then I think he (Biden) is missing the whole point of it.
When the question arises on whether or not we should open up fully, the answer is a whole-hearted yes. It is time for these leftists to stop trying to control our lives. This country was founded under the principles of liberty and freedom, and Democrats like Cuomo are trying to strip us of that and it is time to take control over our own lives.

SHUT DOWN: Should we be opening up the nation or closing ourselves down? My argument is pretty simple: start thinking about how your actions affect others. Inform yourself, don’t be selfish, and understand how your sacrifices can positively influence our society.
The Coronavirus spreads quickly from person to person, town to town, and country to country. Because it has reached all corners of the world, we know any one of us can catch it, spread it, and get sick. When a person infected with Coronavirus breathes, talks, coughs, or sneezes, tiny droplets with millions of harmful viruses spread into the air and land on everything nearby. Without realizing it, the viruses enter our body by taking those droplets in as they land in our mouth, nose, and eyes. In these ways, the virus enters our body and infects us. Even though most people don’t get very sick with Coronavirus, we can easily pass it to others who pass it on to more people. In a few weeks, a neighborhood can get infected. Most people who get sick get better on their own, but some, especially the elderly and people who already have illnesses, can get very sick and even die. Just because most of us recover doesn’t mean there are no long-term side effects like chicken pox & shingles. I think we should’ve all properly quarantined for 14 days a year ago, and I think we still should still do it now. Like ripping off a Band-Aid: it is awful but it is our best most efficient option in the long run.
We saw other nations around us properly execute a lockdown and with the cooperation of everyone, those nations were open within a month. For example, New Zealand, in just 100 days, the island of 5 million citizens declared the pandemic over for them. The country had just 2 dozen active COVID-19 cases—a full month after having reported the action taken. They had absolutely none enter the country (strict initial travel policies), science-based government action (curfews, extensive advertisement, and encouragement to quarantine), and strategies responsive to testing limitations.
The CDC answers the question, why quarantine? “Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department.” I believe if we all did quarantine, the virus wouldn’t disappear, but the pandemic could very well end. I know the infection rate would decrease and with that, we (our country’s health workers) would be able to properly assess the decreased percentage of patients with COVID. Our whole medical department has been put under a lot of stress and heartbreak. Yes, we have shown the strength of our country but only because we fail to recognize the simpler way to prevent how the virus affects our society. While it is hard, and near impossible, to ask for everyone to sit at home and quarantine, if we did, the numbers (infection rate, death rate, etc.) would be manageable (dare I say gone one day). But instead, we have dealt with this painstakingly long period of time where the virus travels across the country until enough people are vaccinated or immune to then make those numbers somewhat “manageable.”
With what our country is currently doing, this in-coordination of states fully open and other states shutdown, the virus won’t stop. It will stay with us, and mutate; we’ll learn to suffer with it rather than be able to return to normal. We as a country come together, not fall apart, at times of war or depression or corruption. We know we’ve been united enough to go without our “necessities”, so why can we not do that now with the COVID war?