Why Now?: A Reaction to COVID-19 Restriction Removal

By Lorena Grajales, News Editor–

This past Tuesday, Tennessee Governor, Bill Lee removed Covid-19 restrictions on businesses and gatherings in almost 90 counties across the state. Only six counties will continue to make their own restrictions and regulations. However, he signed an executive order extending the State of Emergency. Lee believes the state can assess risks after six months of taking precautions.

There have been many mixed emotions regarding this decision, with citizens claiming this will only increase cases and deaths in the state, that could be avoided. Others are relieved these long-awaited orders are now effective. But is Tennessee ready to depart from restrictions that have kept us safe since the outbreak? To date, there have been 197,000 cases and around 2,500 deaths. Solely on Saturday, Oct. 3, the state saw over one-thousand new cases and 45 deaths.

The United States is currently the leading country with total Coronavirus cases, with over seven million and counting. In my opinion, this is due to lack of serious health protocols that should have been placed back in March of this year. Just because people are over Covid-19, does not mean this deadly virus is over. I consider Gov. Lee’s lift on business restrictions and limits on gatherings very negligent, and we are already starting to see the consequences of this. We should not have to fear for our health or put our lives at risk just because people want to go back to “normal life.”

I believe if every state lawmaker understood that we are still in the middle of a pandemic and contributed to making sure we were living as precautious as possible, we would see change for the better in this country sooner rather than later. Unfortunately, at least in Tennessee, that is not the case. We have seen multiple Covid-19 cases at UTC alone this semester, how many more now that people will completely disregard safety measures? How many more lives will have to be lost for people to take this virus seriously? Cases have only increased and with states eliminating precautions and no cure, I’m afraid this country will only go down hill from here.

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