Event calling for quick reopen in Delaware draws few people
A small group of residents calling for Delaware to reopen more quickly during the COVID-19 pandemic gathered in Dover Wednesday.
Holding signs saying “Reopen Delaware” and “Give back my freedom,” a little over a dozen people showed up on Legislative Mall Wednesday asking Gov. Carney to move faster to reopen the state.
Jay Lin of Elsmere was among them.
“People that are high-risk should take the proper precautions, but the rest of us want to get back to work and get back to our life," said Lin. "A lot of the numbers keep changing and a lot of the information also keeps changing. I don’t think we should be crashing our economy and putting small businesses out of business, and endangering families over what’s happening with less deaths than the flu.”
Johns Hopkins Medicine reports that while flu cases are currently higher than COVID-19 cases worldwide and in the United States, COVID-19 deaths worldwide are closing in on an average flu season as of April 22, and in the U.S deaths are within the range of the average yearly number.
Rich Bishop of Wilmington didn’t dismiss guidelines from the White House and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)for reopening that Carney says he’ll follow, but believes there’s room for discussion.
"If it’s 14 days of decline, I guess that would be OK," said Bishop. "I think there are things that can be reopened sooner. Beaches, for example. There’s no reason on a vast expanse of a beach, like a Bethany Beach or Dewey Beach, anything like that, that people shouldn’t be able to go.”
Asked if enforcing social distancing is realistic if thousands of beachgoers show-up, Bishop replied, “Hey, that’s a conversation to have for the future, but to put up a full stop and say it shouldn’t happen, I’m against that. When I go to the beach, I don’t have somebody right up in my business. I don’t know about you, but when I go to the beach, I have a space.”
Carney has previously said protests to reopen quickly are "not helpful," and reopening in a way that doesn’t follow CDC guidelines "will not happen here if I have anything to do with it." But he says he understands the desire to reopen.
"[There are] legitimate concerns for the need to get back to work by both businesses and workers. I understand that. I hear the anguish in their voices ," said Carney at his Tuesday press briefing. "I hear the same amount of anguish in people's voices that say 'Don't do it too soon. Protect me and my family.' And that's what we're going to do. We're going to try to thread the needle."
NPR reported earlier this week that multiple polls have shown that most Americans are more concerned that the country would reopen too soon (Pew Research Center— 66%, Yahoo/YouGov — 60%, NBC/WSJ— 58%).
Organizers of events seeking a quicker reopening say they have additional ones planned for May 1 at the Carvel State Building in Wilmington and again in Dover.
"We have the right to do it," said Rich Bishop Wednesday. "And we know there are people out here that feel the way we do. Maybe they're just afraid to vocalize their opinion. We're here for them."