The pandemic is relentless. New cases of coronavirus are reported daily across the country, including states across the South, where COVID test positivity has exceeded 20 percent. Nearly 5 million Americans have been infected, and nearly 160,000 have died. COVID’s toll has extended beyond health. Businesses have closed, and 30 million have sought unemployment aid for the first time. And after being on lockdown for months, like other parents, we are desperate for our children’s schools to reopen.
We can shift from being on lockdown to putting the virus on lockdown. We lived through the Northeast surge in COVID-19 in the spring, but our states, Connecticut and Massachusetts, have managed to effectively respond. COVID-19 test positivity rates have fallen to less than 2 percent, suggesting enough testing to detect most new cases and prevent new outbreaks from spiraling out of control. Our small businesses are re-opening and our children have a higher chance of attending school in person — with safety measures in place.