Minnesota is not ready to reopen

Loosening stay-at-home restrictions leads to less social distancing


Molly Schochet

Governor Tim Walz announced the first step in reopening Minnesota May 14, loosening the stay-at-home order to allow more small businesses and retailers to open their doors, according to the Star Tribune. As soon as I heard the news, I became concerned. While places like restaurants and salons still have some restrictions and gatherings are still limited to 10 people, I believe the decision came at the worst possible time.

At the beginning of stay at home order, I felt that Minnesota was doing a good job following guidelines, but as time passed I have seen people begin to care less about keeping distance from others.

The new order by Walz will only lessen the concern of the general public to distance as it will make them more inclined to think that the amount of cases in Minnesota is no longer growing. In actuality, the amount of cases in Minnesota is still increasing, reaching 12,000 while deaths rose to 614, according to a Minnesota Public News article written May 12, two days before the new rules to the stay-at-home order were announced. After about two weeks of the loosened stay-at-home order, Minnesota’s cases have only continued to grow, reaching 23,531 total cases as of May 29, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

Some people say the reopening is needed to reignite the economy, and while I understand the need for people to be both working and buying for a stable economy, the timing of the new regulations is poor. Although the new order may actually have good intentions of letting more people get back to work it really just tells people that they don’t have to take social distancing as seriously which is not true.

Although I understand where the idea for this new order is coming from, I hope that when continuing to open the rest of Minnesota in the upcoming months, Walz will think about how the orders he institutes impacts the the way Minnesotans think of social distancing and to still be aware of COVID-19 as cases increase.