Holcomb’s 5-step plan is too soon for our state


Maddie Kosc

On Friday, May 1, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb announced his 5-stage plan to reopen businesses and public spaces throughout the state over the following 9 week period. This 5-stage “Back on Track” plan involves periodic adjustments to guidelines surrounding business capacities, in hopes that the public will return to normal by the end date of July 4. While I fully understand wanting to return some stability to the economy, Holcomb’s 5-step plan is too soon for the state of Indiana.

Most of my teenage peers have taken this announcement as a green light to resume hanging out with friends in large groups. On social media, I can see countless parties and gatherings involving many of my school classmates. While slowly reopening businesses will return stability to millions of employees that were put out of work by COVID-19, large social gatherings are a risk that I feel is entirely unnecessary to take during this recovery process. There will already be a significant increase in person-to-person contact as retail spaces and restaurants begin to open, and adding on a great deal of social gatherings will do no one any favors. 

COMING SOON: According to Holcomb’s new 5-step plan, retail spaces such as the mall at Clay Terrace will be able to open for business at half capacity. Carmel’s Clay Terrace has been operating under modified hours, with certain stores permanently closed, in order to ensure safety and sanitation, and hopes to return to business as usual in the near future.

As someone with many friends and family members who have not only been affected by the pandemic, but have also been working on the frontlines to fight against it, I will continue to maintain social distancing and only go out as necessary. Considering all of the hospitals, doctors, nurses, and essential workers, I will do my part by staying inside, and making their jobs as easy as they possibly can be in a time like this.

Though Holcomb is taking the steps to reopen the public, it must be acknowledged that the threat of the virus is still very much real. According to the State of Indiana’s COVID-19 Data Report, Indiana has faced a total of 1,764 deaths (as of May 22). Although the infection and death rate has been slowing over the past few days, Indiana’s curve has just started to flatten, and the virus is still a threat to the large high-risk population. In order to minimize person-to-person contact, Hoosiers should continue to social distance and wear facial coverings, and avoid going out for unnecessary reasons. This way we can collectively continue to fight the spread of the coronavirus, despite recent changes to the state’s policies.

QUARANTINE EXERCISE: The city of Carmel’s bikes for rental are an available resource to provide some fun and movement during such an uncertain time. Biking is one of many exercises that can help pass some of the time spent in isolation.

It is a cooperative effort to eliminate the spread, and we can continue to support local businesses and take care of necessities while maintaining a safe distance from one another. In order to achieve the end goal of life returning back to normal, we must continue the work that we have been doing, which includes covering up, staying home, and staying safe.