It’s time for SC to walk our big talk on reopening the state
Well, South Carolina, we’ve been yelling for it to happen.
We’ve been pleading for it to happen.
And in some cases we’ve literally been gathering in mobs on streets and loudly protesting for it to happen.
And so it has.
Gov. Henry Mcmaster has relented.
Mcmaster has felt the rising heat and dramatically loosened the restrictions that were put in place when the deadly coronavirus began its march across South Carolina several weeks ago. And in doing so Mcmaster has accelerated the process of fully reopening our state while we’re still continuing to fight COVID-19.
Hang on a minute!
What about the fact that it’s not uncommon for the coronavirus to kill South Carolinians at a double-figure clip during a single day? What about the fact that it’s not uncommon to have 200-plus new cases of COVID-19 during a single day?
Yeah, yeah. And?
OK, but what about the fact that while COVID-19 cases do appear to be leveling off in in our state, we haven’t had 14 straight days of increasingly lower numbers — which is what should be ideally happening in a state before you decide to rapidly reopen it? You know, before you start to act as though things are back to normal?
Look, never mind all that.
OK, but what about the fact that while we are stepping up our ability to test more South Carolinians for COVID-19, we still rank among the bottom five U.S. states in tests administered per capita?
Don’t worry about it. Well, OK, but what about the fact that according to the metrics collected by a company that analyzes cellphone data,
South Carolina gets an “F” grade when it comes to practicing social distancing — which is one of the key elements to stopping the spread of the coronavirus?
I mean, we could go on here.
But what’s the need? It’s clear that we’re now in the “go on ahead already — give it some gas!” phase of speeding up the reopening of South Carolina.
It’s clear that we’re ready to bet that by speeding things up, the cloud of dust we’ll create behind us will obscure the cloud of COVID-19 still hovering over us.
It’s a huge leap of faith we’re taking.
And we’d better hope and pray that it’s the right one.
The truth is I really can’t blame Mcmaster for taking this step: given the relentless pressure he’s been under to fling open South Carolina’s doors, it’s unfair to question him for bending to it.
But there are questions that are totally fair to pose right now — and they’re not for Mcmaster.
They’re for the rest of us.
After doing all of this clamoring for our state to be quickly reopened, are we ready to stop screaming and start proving that it’s the right decision right now?
Here’s another: Now that we have fewer restrictions on going wherever we want, are we ready to show the sense of personal responsibility and good judgment to accept that doesn’t mean doing so whenever we want — not as long as all South Carolinians remain at risk of catching and dying from this modernday plague?
We’d better have the right answers for those questions.
And we’d better have them starting now.
It’s one thing to raise up a sign and demand the ability to do what we want. But it’s another thing to rise up to the moment when we actually get what want. And that moment is here.
It’s time for us to walk all of our big talk, South Carolina.