We don’t need another shutdown in November
Assistant Opinions Editor
After a period of relative calm in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic’s wrath, politicians and scientists are concerned about the onset of flu season and cold weather. As a result, many are getting closer and closer to declaring the need for yet another lockdown, including Rhode Island governor Gina Raimondo.
As of October 28, Gov. Raimondo stated in a press conference that the state may soon have to revert to “phase two” status. In other words, a lockdown comparable to the one that happened in June of this year. Who knows what will come next in the months following? Lockdowns such as the ones seen last March appear likely to follow if the Governor decides to go through with the plan mentioned above.
With all of that being said, I find myself feeling pessimistic now that these measures are being taken into consideration. Online learning is hard as is, but imagine not being able to even have an outlet for the stress of classes? Those of us who experienced online courses last semester know the struggle. At least in the months of September and October students had pleasant distractions during the weekend to keep their minds at ease after yet another exhausting spat of quizzes, midterms and essays. Not to mention that phase two restrictions would entail the loss of many students’ employment. Relying on government subsidies and going through a monotonous schedule of waking up, doing school work, then sleeping made the days turn into one long night.
Mental fatigue was not the only factor in my dread of another lockdown. Physical aspects of the shutdown hit some people hard. Especially those suffering from drug and alcohol addiction, or indeed any addiction of any kind. Being stuck inside no doubt enabled those who once thought they were free to suddenly slip back into relapse. It was sad seeing friends and coworkers fall back into their destructive old habits.
There's a certain point where it becomes ridiculous to enforce rules in which people have made a clear choice and acknowledged the risk they are partaking in. A great example of this can be seen with the Governor threatening to break up Halloween parties with state enforcement, followed by fines and other penalties. People who are going to Halloween parties have more likely than not acknowledged the risk they are going to put themselves in. So let them go! Raimondo may be bluffing to scare people into not going, but it is absurd to punish the people for making a clear choice of their own. If you do not feel like it is worth the risk of going to a large or small gathering, simply do not go. Others should not be punished for making their own conscious decision.
If this article seems like one long complaint about lockdowns past and those yet to come, that’s because it is. Rather, to prevent another instance of putting life on hold for everyone, let the people who are too pedantic to leave their homes choose that option and let everyone else carry on with their livelihoods.