As some states in the United States begin phase one of reopening, after shutting down to limit the spread of the coronavirus, many businesses are undergoing new procedures to keep customers and employees safe from COVID-19. But are these measures effective?
As businesses continue to reopen, many are implementing procedures that follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to limit contact between people, but some are still considering staying closed. All businesses that plan to reopen are required to keep customers 6 feet apart, requiring all employees to wear masks, and regular disinfect items and surfaces used; if rules are not followed by employees and customers, serious issues could arise.
Polar Cave Ice Cream Parlor in Mashpee, Massachusetts reopened and shut down the necxt day because customers weren’t following the new procedures. The parlor encouraged customers to place orders ahead of time to be ready for pick up, minimizing contact between customers and the employees. Many failed to abide, one customer even yelled at an employee for not being able to place an order on the spot, causing the employee to quit later that day at the end of her shift. “People have forgotten how to treat other human beings in the six or seven weeks that they’ve been confined to their homes. They have no clue how to respect other human beings,” said the Mark Lawrence, the store’s owner.
With over 1.4 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States alone, phase one of reopening is going against what health experts are advising. Dr. Anthony Fauci, member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, explained that opening up too soon could only send us in reverse. “What I’ve expressed then and again is my concern that if some areas, cities, states, what have you, jump over those various checkpoints and prematurely open up without having the capability of being able to respond effectively and efficiently, my concern is that we will start to see little spikes that might turn into outbreaks,” said Fauci.
As of now, it’s too early to determine how much of a significance reopening will have on the spread of the virus.