The United States is passing the two month-mark since a national emergency was declared for the COVID-19 pandemic. As some states’ stay-at-home orders have expired, or are expiring, they face choices about reopening vs. extending the shutdown. This has sparked a nationwide debate amongst policymakers, economists, scientists, and citizens about how quickly parts of the economy should reopen and what restrictions should be advised. This circumstance is a good time to consider the virtue of Prudence, which BRI defines as, “practical wisdom that applies reason and other virtues to discern right courses of action in specific situations.”
Those who argue that states should reopen certain economic sectors (such as restaurants, retail, fitness centers, personal care, etc.) generally contend that the quarantine has caused problems like unemployment, a recession, and reduced wages for workers. This side believes that changes need to be made in order to allow Americans to return to work. Additionally, those who argue that states should reopen their economies question the legality of prolonged quarantine measures issued by the government.
Those who argue that states should not reopen their economies tend to argue that the health risks of doing so outweigh any economic issues caused by stay-at-home orders. This side believes that a prolonged quarantine is necessary in order to protect the lives and health of Americans, and is therefore justifiable. Additionally, those who do not support reopening certain sectors argue that doing so too soon could lead to a rise in cases of COVID-19, resulting in further deaths and harm the economy further.
So, what do you think? Should states allow for the reopening of their economic sectors? Students can argue Yes, states should allow for the reopening of economic sectors; No, states should not allow for the reopening of economic sectors; or something else! This issue is not necessarily binary—there are a variety of factors to consider when forming your answer such as the virus’s impact on different regions and what sectors could be more problematic to open during a pandemic, among other issues.
Note: Ideal Think the Vote responses include the following:
-Address the question asked in a thoughtful and meaningful manner
-Use cited facts and constitutional arguments when appropriate to support their answers
-Are expressed in cohesive sentences and are free of distracting spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors
-Address counter-arguments and opposing concerns in a respectful manner
-Are organized in a manner that flows logically and reads clearly