OPINION: Is a stay-at-home order necessary for Nebraska?


Jeremy Davis

It’s important to ask yourself if something is worth getting sick over by putting others at risk. Graphic by Hailey Stessman/The Gateway

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause issues worldwide, it makes you wonder: Should Nebraska be under a stay-at-home order? In my opinion, I think the answer is yes.

However, I think if we self-quarantine in our homes and only go out when necessary, there is no need for the government to enforce a stay-at-home order for Nebraska. The keyword is if, however, and I am worried that people are not staying home.

According to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Nebraska is currently under the “21 Days to Stay Home and Stay Healthy” campaign put in place by Gov. Pete Ricketts. The campaign emphasizes six rules to follow: staying home, socially distancing at work, shopping alone and only once a week, helping kids practice social distancing, helping seniors at home and exercising at home.

This campaign ends on May 1, so we should start to see places reopen sometime in May. Nebraska is increasing in cases, though. According to the Center for Disease Control, Nebraska has over 2,400 cases confirmed. I think this number will continue to grow over the next few months until we find a way to make a vaccine. Nebraska is still doing a great job of keeping the pandemic under control—after all, who knows what would have happened if they didn’t close stores and schools when they did.

One of my biggest fears is if by May 15 we reopen stores and restaurants we could see a new surge in cases. I am sure we will never have an official stay-at-home order, but if we reopen everything too early it could be dangerous. I think the hope is to reopen everything by mid-May, but I could see that getting postponed till the end of May and even early June.

According to WOWT news, Nebraska is hoping to still open the Farmers Market on May 20 just with “modified operations.” I am sure other spring activities will follow their lead and open under specific limitations. Sure, the farmers market sounds like something fun to do after being stuck in the house for weeks at a time, but is it worth getting sick over?

As stores begin to open, we must continue to practice staying healthy. When these places open, I am sure there will be some crowds during the first couple days, so it may be a better idea to stay at home and go a couple days later.

I am looking forward to going outside and going to all the places I haven’t been in weeks, but I will put my health first, as should everyone else at this current time. The longer we stay inside, the more time we give the medical professionals to do their jobs.

I am sure slowly we will regain control of our lives. It is just not known when we will be able to. It could be this month, or it could be sometime later, all I know is this is a time we won’t forget anytime soon. Who knows how long it will be until we can enjoy concerts and movie theaters again?