I'm just questioning this line of thinking that comes up periodically that we have to re-open (or stay open) because if we don't, we never will.
I'll turn the question around and ask what is the alternative exit strategy? The exit strategy to this point has been get enough vaccines in arms to achieve herd immunity. Vaccines have either broken or significantly weakened the link between cases and deaths / hospitalizations. People were told to get vaccinated to get their freedoms back. Nearly 90 percent of adults have done so, or are in the process of doing so.
Cases are going to be high throughout the summer (including of vaccinated people). But then cases tend to spike in fall and winter, as the weather turns and people go indoors. Then something else will happen in the spring. When does it stop? When do we get to say that the risks are higher than they used to be, but manageable and worth returning to normal life? Or at least that we're going to give people that option?
Despite the huge wave of infections, we have 20-odd deaths per day in a country of 66 million people. Most of the deaths are among the elderly and with co-morbidities, and around half are double vaccinated. Really, what more can we do - and to prevent what loss of life?
So I do ask - if not now, then when, and with what exit strategy? I'm not sure I see the situation getting better than it is now for quite some time, possibly years.