On March 4, 2021, Governor Mike DeWine announced via Twitter that, once Ohio maintains 50 cases per 100,000 citizens for a two-week period, all health orders will be rescinded. For the past two weeks, the state of Ohio has seen an average of 143.8 cases per 100,000 people— which is an incredible improvement. Soon, masks and social distancing may be a thing of the past. However, it is important to consider the implications of these returns to normal.
While Ohio has increased the number of vaccinations distributed- with the help of the mass-vaccination clinic at the Wolstein Center- it is quite possible that 50 cases per 100,000 individuals could come well before all young adults receive their vaccinations. It is important to preserve the health of the older and at-risk population, but it is just as imperative to protect the health of the younger population, those who are working ‘essential’ jobs and going to school every day.
Removing all health orders at once may cause a new surge in COVID-19 cases. Wearing masks has been key to decreasing the number of infections and slowing the spread. By allowing people to go maskless before most of the population is vaccinated could quicken the spread once again, placing us back where we started.
It is amazing that Ohio has lowered its average case numbers so significantly. Ohioans cannot become complacent and eagerly revert to the ‘norm.’ Patience is a virtue, and it will pay off in this case. It is important to wait until most of the population is vaccinated before lifting all health orders.