Reopening, Responsibly

Nurses have been on the frontlines in this crisis. We’ve seen firsthand just how deadly COVID-19 can be.

While we’re relieved to see hospitalizations declining in many parts of the state, this does not mean the COVID-19 crisis is over or that it is safe to reopen.

There is no vaccine, and we don’t know if or when one will be widely available. The virus hasn’t become less contagious or less deadly while New York has been “on pause.”

Once we lift emergency measures and people begin to return to work or gather in public there will be more outbreaks. We can also expect a second or even third wave coinciding with flu season. It’s not a question of whether but when.

In January, as we witnessed the deadly progression of COVID-19 around the world, we sounded the alarm to New York’s public health officials and elected leaders. Their inaction, along with the Trump administration’s denials and foot-dragging, cost untold lives.

And for the last two months, nurses and other healthcare workers have borne witness to this preventable tragedy.

We can never let this happen again. Anything less means we’re likely sacrificing thousands more New Yorkers to this deadly disease. That is something we cannot — we will not — allow.

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