Michigan’s economy is gradually reopening, but we’re not out of the woods yet.
Although Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently scaled back her stay-at-home order, business activity remains restricted. Restaurants and bars are subject to capacity limits, while other businesses — such as indoor gyms and outdoor pools — are still barred from operating fully. All the while, Whitmer continues to sound the COVID-19 alarm bells, claiming “we must all continue to practice social distancing.”
Long story short, the “new normal” is worse than the old one. And that’s a problem.
I’m a doctor, so I understand the risks of the coronavirus better than most. My practice, which provides direct primary care to patients in need, has treated countless Michiganians who are suffering from the virus. Some patients have experienced severe symptoms. Let’s be clear: The coronavirus threat is real, especially for elderly populations.
To prioritize economic recovery is not to discount the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. On the contrary, medical professionals like myself must continue to lead the way in diagnosing and treating the coronavirus. Lives are at risk.
But we need to balance public health and economic activity — from business expansion to job creation. While I am a doctor, I am also a small business owner. I am an employer. I am a job creator.
Just like I sympathize with COVID-19 victims, I also sympathize with the employers and employees whose lives have been forever impacted by this pandemic. The coronavirus has produced more economic victims than anything else — many, many more.
At this point, the costs of delaying a full economic reopening outweigh the benefits. That’s because we have made significant progress. When Whitmer first implemented her stay-at-home order in March, the goal was to “flatten the curve,” giving our healthcare system the time needed to cope with an influx of new patients.