Las Vegas shouldn’t use human lives for a COVID-19 control group



Katarzyna Borkowska

Carolyn Goodman, the mayor of Las Vegas, has suggested that the city should act as a control group and ease up on social distancing and shelter-in-place orders to see just how dangerous and deadly COVID-19 really is. This is not only immoral and unfair to the residents of Las Vegas, but also very impractical in theory and in practice.

Using Las Vegas as a control group is not feasible when most of the economy relies on tourism. The entire state of Nevada is home to approximately 3.1 million people, with Las Vegas having 2 million residents and receiving 40 million visitors a year.

Creating an open-door policy in Las Vegas would attract people from other states that are not taking the COVID-19 pandemic seriously. This would create more exposure and risk the lives of the Las Vegas residents, which is something that is completely unnecessary and unethical.

“What I assume is that everybody is a carrier, that 100 percent of our population is asymptomatic but a carrier,” Goodman told MSNBC. “So how do we move forward? What do we do to keep our people working? Keep parents being able to put food on the table, pay rent and keep a roof over their heads?”

The issue of people not being able to work is a legitimate concern but risking lives over it is not a viable solution, especially in a city where most of the economy is oriented around tourism. The city and the state need to work together and provide some sort of stipend to Nevada residents, not push for a premature reopening that would cause more harm than good.

Human lives are not something that should be experimented on, especially when the subjects are not willing to risk their lives like that. That is precisely what Goodman wants to do, with no real regard of how this could affect the people who do get sick.

There is constant misinformation being spread that the only people who can catch the virus are the elderly or those with weakened immune systems because they are the most susceptible to it. However, stories from places like New York about young adults, teenagers, doctors and nurses dying from the disease prove that the virus does not discriminate across health, age or race and affects everyone in some form.

Now is the time for people to come together and get government support. The argument that protestors keep repeating is that lockdowns are infringing on American freedom, but what good is freedom if people cannot even be alive to experience it?

There is a lot more on the line here than just money and freedom. People are suffering and dying across the world from the virus even with major shutdowns and social distancing already in place.

Removing those barriers and telling people it is okay for them to go out and pretend like everything is fine is selfish and irresponsible. Goodman, as a person in power, should not be supporting or spreading that type of agenda.

Las Vegas may be an economic hotspot, with most of the economy being based around nonessential businesses, but there comes a point when society must prioritize everyone over a small group of people.

The entire country is at risk and the coronavirus is starting to spread outside of hotspots like New York and New Jersey. Reopening cities will only allow the virus to spread at a quicker pace, infecting more people than capacity allows and creating even more shortages.