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Updated: Aug 21, 2020

August 1, 2020

Did the U.S. re-open too early? I said yes in May. I wish I'd been wrong.

In my May 4 post, "Open Wide," I promised to update all of you on August 1 about who would turn out to have been right: those who said we were re-opening too early and those who said re-opening was the right decision, even though no state had met the the CDC guidelines for re-opening.

I said I thought re-opening early was rash and foolish. I also said I'd love to be proven wrong about it, and would report back either way: was I right? Or were the Trumpers right?

Today, August 1st, more than 4.6 million cases have been recorded in the United States, Most scientific experts believe we could be underestimating those numbers significantly, due to our testing flaws — for example, test results that are not received or reported for more than 5 days, at which point contact tracing becomes all but useless.

The CDC now predicts that the U.S. will likely see as many as 182,000 deaths from coronavirus by August 22. At one time, experts predicted a total of 100,00 to 200,00 deaths throughout the entire pandemic.

New Jersey, where I live, is reporting 400 new infections. From what I've seen, our state has been opening very cautiously, because of our leadership and, I assume, because we were the second-hardest hit state this spring. Coronavirus isn't an abstraction here. Masks are mandatory in every public place I've personally visited. In fact, when I ducked into a Quick Chek in my neighborhood recently, groping for my mask in my purse, I was told I couldn't even step foot inside without the mask on. Yeah, Quick Chek! I thanked the cashier as I left.

Mississippi has the highest percentage of positive COVID tests (21.11%) in the country, more than 53% of which were taken by African-Americans.

California today reported its highest number of deaths in a single day: 219.

Major League Baseball keeps trying to start, except teams and players test positive all the time, so it's been a situation of two steps forward, one step back. I think everyone is forcing the sports thing and will have to stop trying soon.

It's the fifth consecutive day that Florida has counted more than 9,000 new cases of coronavirus.

And the list goes on.

So yeah, I was right in May when I said I agreed with the experts, the mainstream media, health care workers and a bunch of other level-headed people who said we were opening America too early.

But there's no satisfaction in being right. I wish I'd have been wrong.

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