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The Scoop - I'm not ready for the brakes
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If there's anything I think we can all agree on, it's that we want things to return to normal.

Students who moaned and groaned about going to school are suddenly excited about the prospect of returning to class. Who would have thought we'd reach this point so quickly?

Simple things I've always taken for granted, such as walking into the courthouse to pick up a few documents, are now forbidden. Bonnaroo has been canceled and high school football season has been delayed.

Things really do need to get back to normal -- and fast.

As we barrel toward Fourth of July celebrations this weekend, our governor has extended his executive order strongly urging Tennesseans to continue social distancing and to stay at home.

This is news nobody wants to hear as we prepare to celebrate our nation's independence with homemade ice cream and potato salad.

So what to do in these pandemic times? I want to listen to the governor's request and do my part to halt the spread of coronavirus, but this is becoming a challenge.

We know COVID-19 is highly contagious. It has spread with lightning speed through two prisons in Tennessee and now there are reports of at least 107 people catching COVID-19 from one bar in East Lansing, Mich.

As a result of recent developments, at least 14 states have hit the brakes when it comes to reopening. Gov. Bill Lee's announcement on Monday that social distancing and staying at home are being urged for another two months until Aug. 29 immediately brings into question what might happen with Warren County schools.

I believe if students go back to school Aug. 12, it will definitely fan the flames and lead to more coronavirus cases. The United States already leads the world when it comes to this virus.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. has about 4% of the world's population, yet we have about 25% of the reported COVID cases and deaths. 

But what's the power of this virus? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released an estimate which says the total number of COVID cases could be up to 24 times higher than reported. This is because of all the people who may have the virus yet don't know it. If this CDC estimate is accurate, it would greatly diminish the overall threat of COVID-19.

I maintain we need to go back to school and we need to get back to work. A Facebook poll conducted by the Standard shows 71% of respondents think students should return to school in classrooms.

The psychological harm of children continuing to isolate could have a more widespread impact than the small percentage who suffer health problems. If our healthcare system buckles, we can retreat, but we should at least try to return to school.

Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.