Ohio opens back up

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COVID-19 has changed the way life is lived. Practically every business now has “carry-out;” homes have become gyms, schools, and workplaces; and everyone is six feet apart. However, things are beginning to change back to the way they were before the coronavirus swept the world. In Ohio, manufacturing, construction, and offices opened May 4, retail opened May 12, and other businesses and stores will soon open. 

   Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor John Husted, and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton, put the Stay at Home order into place on March 24 to limit the spread of COVID-19. Ohioans have done well at following the Stay at Home order and have flattened the curve of cases because of this. 

   Franklin County Health Commissioner, Joe Mazzola, says that putting this order in place early was a good move by Governor DeWine because it allows for more time to prepare hospitals and testing kits for cases of COVID-19. 

   “The general consensus is if we did not take the social distancing measures, including the Governor’s Stay at Home order, the utilization of masks and the social distancing, we would have seen thousands of additional cases and hospitalizations that would have overwhelmed our hospital systems,” says Mazzola. 

   Barbershops, day spas, tanning facilities, and hair and nail salons opened May 15 and some students have mixed opinions. Freshman Rosa Racevskis was excited for these salons to open and said that she would also reopen “self care” stores if she was the governor. Freshman Spoorthi Kandalai sees it differently.

   “People don’t really need nail salons, even if it’s nice to have them. When it comes to risking spreading a deadly virus, getting your nails done isn’t worth the risk,” says Kandalai.

   However, these salons will only open if they can meet the guidelines put into place by Governor DeWine to encourage social distancing. These guidelines include a daily symptom assessment of all employees, barriers put into place if six feet cannot be maintained between employees, and face coverings must be worn by all employees. Similar guidelines have been outlined by Governor Mike DeWine’s Restaurant Advisory Group for dining. Outdoor dining also began May 15 and dine-in service began May 21. Gyms remain closed. For athletes, this makes the fall season uncertain. In Hilliard, open gyms and conditioning will not be allowed until August 1, though that date may be extended.

   While restaurants, salons, and other businesses are beginning to open, Columbus Health Commissioner, Dr. Mysheika Roberts, says not to expect life to return to normal any time soon.

   “[Without] a vaccine and herd immunity this virus is going to change the way we live for several months. We will see more cases, deaths and experience more inconveniences in the next several months to a year,” says Dr. Roberts. 

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