Virginia Health Commissioner: Reopening State Will Be “Two Year Affair”
Virginia State Health Commissioner Norman Oliver stated that the commonwealth will be dealing with the coronavirus disease in some sort for two years during a press conference on Friday regarding the state’s eventual reopening.
“I, personally, think Phase One will be a two year affair,” said Oliver of the first reopening stage outlined by controversial Governor Ralph Northam. “There are a lot of people working on this, and I hope they prove me wrong, but I don’t see it happening in less than two years.”
The notion of suspending everyday life for two years as a result of coronavirus would be more drastic than anything that residents even the most hard-hit communities such as New York City could imagine. Oliver alluded to rolling restrictions remaining in place until a time in which medical researchers develop a vaccine for the coronavirus disease, an uncertainty that remains on the distant horizon.
Phase One of Northam’s Forward Virginia Blueprint consists of a period of required social distancing, suspension of crowded commercial events, and bans on gatherings of crowds.
The Virginia Health Department later went on to clarify Oliver’s remarks, making it clear that two-year ‘phase one’ process wouldn’t necessarily include the restrictions that have disrupted everyday American life throughout the country in the past month.
“Dr. Oliver intended to say that the Commonwealth will likely be dealing with COVID-19 in some form until a vaccine is produced, not that Phase One itself would take two years.”
If Virginia’s government plans on keeping restrictions in place until a time at which researchers have produced an entirely theoretical vaccine, the commonwealth’s residents should be very concerned.