A new hope: The reopening of America

Alex Thorne, Business Manager

The COVID-19 pandemic struck the United States in March of 2020, shocking the country with government mandates and restrictions. However with case counts down 16 percent in the last 14 days according to the NY Times, many states are pushing to reopen for good.

Currently, there are 16 states in the United States that no longer require masks in public, including Iowa. Texas became the most recent member of this group after Governor Greg Abbott lifted the statewide mask-mandate. Abbott also allowed all Texas restaurants to have 100 percent capacity and suspended all other COVID-related laws within the state. 

To many Americans this is a sign of hope. Currently, Texas is the biggest state in the U.S to loosen restrictions. After being locked down for 12 months, small businesses were taking a huge hit. In his proclamation, Abbott focused on the importance of allowing full capacity in these businesses and restaurants.

Senior Jack Roemer’s parents own multiple restaurants in the QC. “I have seen first hand the strain on local businesses by the pandemic, although Iowa has been fairly open my parents have associates who have lost their businesses around the country. Being at full capacity would definitely prevent this,” he said. 

Texas was not the only state to make a large announcement regarding COVID-19 in the first week of March. The University of Alabama announced that they would be 100 percent in-person by the fall and plan on having full capacity at their football games at Bryant-Denny Stadium, which holds just over 101,000 people. 

Knowing the ins and outs of how a business swings profit, Roemer agreed with this decision as well. “The fans need to stay safe, but at the end of the day the university needs to make money. Having as many fans as possible is ideal, let’s hope more schools follow suit,” he stated.

Following Abbott’s lead, Governor Tate Reeves of Mississippi also issued an executive order allowing businesses to operate at full capacity and got rid of any mask mandates. According to Reeves case numbers are low enough and the vaccine is being widely distributed, so the main focus should shift towards ending this pandemic.

Junior Drew Micek, an avid fan of the University of Mississippi, has become very supportive of Governor Reeves after this executive order. “I am in full support of what Reeves said. I am thinking about going to college down there, and if they are able to get this thing under control down there I would definitely be more inclined to go there,” he stated.

Statements similar to those made by the University of Alabama and Governors Abbott and Reeves give some college students a light at the end of the tunnel. Many students have spent most of this school year stuck in their dorm rooms, so these promises are considered Heaven sent by many.

As more and more states begin to open up around the country, Americans are on the edge of their seats watching case counts and hospitalization rates. While many may disagree with the reopening, the entire nation is rooting for these troubled times to resolve in the near future.