For another viewpoint, please see: Point: We Are All ‘Essential.’ It’s Time to Reopen NH.

I can’t wait to get back to work in Concord fighting for the people of my district — specifically for the expansion of small business and entrepreneurship in New Hampshire and for greater access to mental health and substance misuse services.

And when we get back to work — I don’t ever want to have to live under a “stay at home” order again. In order to ensure we won’t have to, we have to do this right.

I’ll be the first in line demanding an opening of the economy as soon as we know where the battle lines are against COVID-19. The problem is, we don’t. As an MBA and cybersecurity professional, I’m often focused on models, analyses and data.

Here’s the issue, just like in my work in cybersecurity, the models are only as good as the data they evaluate.

And the data we have to feed our models regarding COVID-19 prevalence, infection rates, mortality rates, post-infection immunity and so on — are currently severely limited.

For example, in New Hampshire, where Gov. Sununu has been doing a solid job at managing the crisis, we have only recently begun a large expansion of testing beyond only healthcare workers, first responders and those with known ties to individuals with positive test results.

It will take weeks to begin to get a clear picture of what the reality of this battle is. This same situation has been replicated throughout the country.

So, the concern is if we open up too soon, infection rates would spike, hospitals would be overrun, our healthcare workers and first responders could be taken offline due to increased infection rates — which could cause further significant disruption and/or a longer-term and unnecessary economic and human health impact.

Once we have the requisite data to feed the models and help us truly understand what we’re dealing with, then it will be time to make decisions on responsibly and incrementally opening up the economy so that we can predict and manage the inevitable consequences of doing so.

I want to get the hell out of my house, too. We’ve invested so much and gone this far, let’s finish strong and get it done right the first time.

Click to listen to NH Journal pod podcast