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Opinion

Major Businesses Cave to COVID-19 Fears, Push Back Reopening of Offices

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The social and economic ramifications of locking down America are quite apparent.

Economically speaking, the devastation of both large and small businesses is widespread and potentially permanent.

Socially speaking, the damage being done to children who can’t be back in classrooms is as sad as it is avoidable.

But it’s not just children whose lives are being impacted by virtue of the fact that they’re cooped up.

Adults too are dealing with the long-term deleterious effects of being stuck inside. You don’t have to look much further than the rising divorce rates during the pandemic.

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It’s evident that socializing and having in-person contact with other people are overall good things for the human psyche.

So then why in the world are some massive American companies pushing back their office reopening dates by a whopping six months?

As The New York Times reported, major companies like Microsoft, Target and Ford have all pushed back reopening their offices to next summer. Many companies, the outlet reported, planned to let employees return in January, only to change that to July.

Some businesses, such as Microsoft and Twitter, are allowing employees to work from home indefinitely, according to Fox Business.

To be fair, if a company is offering the option to work remotely, it’s completely up to the worker whether or not to accept it. If the worker is uncomfortable going into the office and a company is OK with offering them the chance to work from home, good for the both of them.

But unilaterally taking that option away from the employee makes no sense.

And it’s particularly nonsensical, given a World Health Organization official’s recent statements noting that lockdowns should not be the “primary” means of controlling the spread of COVID-19.

“We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus,” the WHO’s special envoy on COVID-19, David Nabarro, told The Spectator.

“Stop using lockdown as your primary control method,” Nabarro added. “Develop better systems for doing it. Work together and learn from each other.”

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While Nabarro was mainly speaking about lockdowns in terms of their economic impact, it’s still a jarring reversal for the WHO.

But it’s still a reversal that major companies and businesses should take note of. Offer the option to work remotely, but there’s no real reason to make doing so mandatory.

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