It’s been most of a year since the pandemic crept into our lives and officials shut things down in an effort to flatten the curve -- keep COVID-19 infections down to a level that wouldn’t overwhelm health facilities. But it’s been a hard row to hoe, with people unable to go in to work, out to eat, visit grandparents, send kids to school.

We asked Facebook friends: Should locals shuck all state mandates and open everything all the way up? Would it be a balance between economic health and human health? Or is it too dangerous? What do you think? Here are some of the responses:

-- Sharon Armstrong: I think we should open up. Protect the older population and the vulnerable, and the rest of the people return to earning a living, and living life.

-- Louise Graham: Slow and steady wins the race. We opened up in July and the numbers got worse.

-- Jerry Handy: We all know this goes away in about 3 weeks so I think it is a moot point … let’s see if it is as predicted.

-- Lisa Lynn Ringelberg: Is it just me or has the whole COVID-19 thing slowed the closer elections get here. I mean I went to a pumpkin farm, hardly anyone wearing masks and it was packed. Just like in public more and more people without masks. I wear one so I don’t offend anyone. But seems like we are opening more and more. Less people are wearing masks and the risk is lower?  The risk was higher when everyone panicked and wore masks seems like …

-- Wendy Bowles: … we are about to hit the 3rd and worst wave entering into fall and winter. I wouldn’t get too comfortable just yet.

-- Karen Jack: … I think numbers are lowering because people aren’t getting tested as much. They want their kids back in school etc. so they just aren’t testing, that way the numbers decrease.

-- Kary Hauck: Open everything back up. Those who are afraid should self-implement their own restrictions.

-- Betty Cropper:  No! Soft openings with restrictions! Face masks, hand sanitizers, sanitizing shopping carts, and social distancing.

-- Holly Magiera: if you look at other major pandemics throughout history they didn’t end within a matter of months. They lasted a couple of years. People need to stop being selfish and think about other people. We are all in this together. And the sooner we start listening to science and doing what science tells us to do the sooner we would be able to open everything back up.

-- Alesia Matdanbry: Major pandemics such as the Spanish Flu in 1918 had zero effective drugs. We do have effective drugs now.

-- Sallie Saltenberger Fear: … sanitation wasn’t even half as good as it is now, as well.

-- Tammy Watters-Long: … really? How come people are dying then? What meds are you referring to? The ones given to important people, not regular people?

-- Carrie Logan: I know 2 people recently recovered and recovering from Covid both were in ICU and both survived. It is a horrible virus but is survivable and treatable. We need to open up.

-- Michelle Loe-milligan: Open up but with restrictions like wearing masks and the business is responsible for sanitizing often. This is not political because Australia just lifted their order and look what happened to Italy and China. They aren’t having elections, the whole world got caught up in a pandemic. The U.S. politicians have made this political. They are lying to us to win an election. Let’s quarantine all of them!

-- Dana DurhamPerin: … I do hope you are not in favor of forcing kids to wear masks. ?

-- Kurt Gaston: Everyone should wear masks when out in public, including children.

-- Jana Shannon: 45 minutes ago I was told that my husband and I were exposed to COVID-19. We are both compromised. We are in quarantine to protect others just in case. We have to figure it out tomorrow. If people were kind and supportive (wear a mask, distance, wash hands) I would support opening up. But people are not kind and supportive, so we have to do what we have to do.

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