President Trump's aides have begun intensive discussions on a plan to reopen the US economy as soon as the start of May, according to people familiar with the deliberations https://t.co/nzkZbE5eNF— CNN (@CNN) April 8, 2020
Trump wants a big celebration to reopen the country. He thinks he can announce it on May 1st.
As I mentioned, my college is "closed" and all classes will be on-line only at least through the summer. That decision has been made, there will be no reversing it (not without calamity, since it's already been announced.)
The local school districts have not announced, but the likelihood is all schools in the Houston area, at least (and in most urban districts in Texas) will be closed until the fall (which means no summer school, or summer school on-line only). These are major administrative efforts, not just quick and reversible decisions, and they are likely to stand even if Gov. Abbott declares the month of Jubilee in May (no signs he will, btw). The Governor may say things must resume, but parents will look to the health of their children, and school districts are aircraft carriers: they are huge, supported by lots of ancillary ships, and don't change course easily.
Major portions of Texas life are closed for the duration.
So what happens when Trump says "Ollee ollee income free, everybody come out and play!", and whole states say "Yeah, I don't think so."? Is Cuomo going to tell New York the water's fine? (The rate of diagnosed cases in NYC alone continues to skyrocket. There's also the matter of a rising death count which is probably due to coronavirus but nobody is sure, because there aren't enough tests to bother testing the dead.) California? Florida? Oregon and Washington? Louisiana? Texas?
We're still checking drivers at the border for both states. Are we gonna stop that on May 1 because Trump said so?
Some things will start up; some things won't. If schools stay closed, parents have to stay home with kids. If parents are worried about contagion, they won't send the kids to camps and daycare and bring in baby-sitters. If the schools are closed, a lot of things are effected. Sure, some people will send their kids outside, or to summer camp; but a lot of poeple won't.
The economy won't fire up; it'll sputter. I know I won't be the first one in the restaurant doors, or waiting for the movie theater or the malls to open. Sure, they closed because they had to. Will they reopen if they can be tagged as venues for contagion? Because Trump said so?
Yeah, right. You want to ruin public spaces like restaurants and theaters and malls? Spread the word people who went there got covid-19 because they re-opened too early. And no, that ain't just me talking:
Americans themselves will also need to feel comfortable returning to crowded restaurants and workplaces before the economy can return to normal. A CNN poll released Wednesday showed 60% of Americans say they would feel uncomfortable returning to their regular routines if social distancing guidelines were lifted after April 30, the current expiration date for Trump's recommendations.Does anybody really imagine Trump is going to reassure them? Me, neither.
The metaphor for this is the USNS Comfort sailing into New York harbor. People lined the docks (ignoring social distancing) and there was a hue and cry that made Trump's selfish little heart flutter. And then reality set it, and only 3 patients were allowed on the ship. It was weeks later Trump finally gave permission for covid-19 patients to be treated on the ship, and NYC is still looking for room for more hospital beds (and graves, but that's a grimmer matter). Here are the most recent numbers:
NEW: There were 10,453 new cases of COVID-19 reported in New York State today. In New York City there were 4,927 new positive cases. In the rest of the state there were 5,526 new positive tests, DOH says.— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) April 8, 2020
There were 25,095 tests taken. Cases continue to jump on Long Island too.
Does anybody imagine the boroughs of the city emptying into the streets to sing and dance because Trump declared May Day a national day of getting back to business? The rest of that state, alone? Numbers in Houston aren't expected to peak for another three weeks. "Peak" does not mean "fall off to zero on the other side," either.
This is going to take a major and complex effort on behalf of government and business and plain ordinary people. This is not going to be solved by the arrival of a Navy hospital ship, by a single videogenic event. It's going to be complicated and cumbersome and frankly, nothing in that CNN article indicates anyone in the White House is aware of that; or if they are, they know the futility of mentioning it to CNN (and likely the danger to their job security).
This is going to be a clustertrump. We are so screwed.