As One Door Closes, Another Door Opens

Governor Murphy delivers bad news one day, good news the next.

With a world enveloped in a widespread pandemic, leaders are taking proper precautions to ensure the safety of their people, while simultaneously attempting to provide a sense of normalcy. Throughout this entire pandemic (read: nightmare), the government has always kept the people’s best interest at heart. For example, in our state, Governor Phil Murphy works towards comforting the state’s citizens by providing a stream of information that is updated frequently through various platforms, including his Twitter account. Along with his daily coronavirus case reports divided by county, Murphy also provides details of social-distancing protocols.

On May 4, Governor Murphy made another executive order; in this motion, he mandated the closure of schools for the remainder of the academic year. Educators, students, and their respective families were disappointed by this bittersweet information. On the bright side, forcing education to continue remotely indicates great efforts to restore normalcy so that school can reopen in the fall as scheduled. On the other hand, social interaction continues to suffer as class is held remotely. Traditional school activities, such as proms and graduations for older students, and exciting school days, such as field days and talent shows, have been canceled, rescheduled, or moved to the virtual world. Although these are good alternatives, nothing trumps an in-person interaction that shows the fruit of students’ hard work and continued excellence. Although inevitable sadness ensued following the big order released by state officials, the education system is continuously working to provide an excellent experience for their students both academically and socially. 

With all the negativity surrounding the progression of the virus, Governor Murphy recently shared some news that shed light on the fight against COVID-19. On April 29, Murphy signed an executive order to reopen state and county parks, golf courses, and public beaches on May 2, as long as social distancing remained steadfast in these public areas. The following day, he Tweeted that, by lifting this ban, he places his trust in New Jerseyans, but if he “[sees] this weekend what [he] saw that first weekend in April, [he] will not hesitate to reverse course and close our parks again.” In the days preceding this social restoration, Murphy issued several warnings to emphasize that he has no fear of reverting to a closed park system. He repeatedly argued that a few local “knuckleheads” may break the rules, but that the majority of citizens will know how to properly enjoy nature without cultivating the spread of COVID-19. Certain areas of parks, such as playgrounds and fields for organized sports, will remain closed, and parking lot capacity will be reduced by 50%. By placing these limits, the number of people in a concentrated area decreases ten-fold. Many took advantage of this blessing and went hiking, running, or simply basked in the glow of the sun, all while maintaining a safe distance from others. Governor Murphy’s order seems like a step in the right direction for New Jersey, following suit with his six-point plan.

A balance of positive and negative news highlights the ever-changing power that the coronavirus has over all people. Governor Murphy has been straightforward with New Jerseyans, revealing the good, the bad, and the ugly. Murphy often reminds viewers of his social media accounts that “data determine dates,” implying that with everyone’s cooperation coupled with his orders, the curve will flatten and business will return to usual. 

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