NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

When will it end?

It’s been close to two months now since students were sent home from Northern Essex Community college.

Most of these students have been confined to their houses, save for a few trips to the grocery store.

A lot of them, a-lot of everybody, are starting to get just a little stir-crazy. So it begs the question….. When are things going to go back normal? And what will this new normal be like?

As some in the country seem to be “flattening the curve”, many people are starting to become restless and pine for the days of just 2 months ago, which seems so much longer ago, where friends could gather and enjoy each other’s company.

On top of this, many forms of entertainment have been shelved or greatly reduced due to the virus. All foreseeable concerts have been cancelled, public gatherings of any kind are a big No-No, and sports are virtually not existent.

There have been talks about sports opening back up, but it would have to be in front of empty crowds. That just feels weird to say.

Also many business owners are feeling the burden that a near total shutdown of the state brings. Many restaurants, bars, florists, and other places of business that rely on foot traffic likely won’t make it out of this; at least not without major government intervention.

This restlessness and desperation to open backup manifest itself in the protests taking place, though they are happening in smaller numbers across the country. President Trump, in his typical fashion, stroked the flames of this protest himself when he tweeted out “Free the people of Michigan!” encouraging the protesters to congregate during a pandemic and protests a state administration building that was mostly empty… because of said pandemic.

So obviously some people really want this to be over, while others need it to be over soon if they want their business to keep running.

But how do we know when it’s safe to reopen? It was when we had a vaccine? That could take 18-24 months, according to most major news outlets. Is it when the curve has flattened? That could invite a second wave of increasing rates of infection, according to many health experts like Dr. Fauci. Should it be when it seems like the economy can not take being shut down? But what kind of message would that send to the elderly and people with a predisposed risk that economical practices are more important than their very own lives.

That’s the thing: No one really knows when we should open back up or even what measures we should decide to use when guessing when to open back up. We’re in uncharted territory and we need to tread lightly. Otherwise… well otherwise I don’t really know what will happen.