As I see it, it will actually be safe to reopen the country, my state, my county, and any area when the following are true:
1. Lots of Testing
We can't control what we can't see, and testing is how we see this disease. Before it's safe to open, we need enough tests for everyone. If the current standards say you need one: You get one. If current standards don't, there should still be enough tests and capacity to test you too.
2. Faster testing results
With current backlogs, I've heard some test results take 5-7 days before you know if you have COVID. That won't work. Everyone would have "instant" test results before they leave the doctors office. If that isn't possible, faster is better. 24 hours is the worst we can tolerate and still be able to make informed decisions about what is safe.
I mean testing delays and backlogs too. We need results ASAP.
3. More PPE
Medical professionals, first responders, and essential workers have all the PPE they need. We need PPE for less essential workers and the general public. Surgical masks and N95 should be available that everyone wanting to leave the house.
It's not like people will stop wanting this stuff any time soon. Quadruple production. Then quadruple it again. And again. And again. Now.
4. New cases and deaths are way down and trending lower
This one is obvious. We need to be controlling the spread of the disease if we are going to reduce measures that prevent its spread.
5. Social distancing is still the norm
Stores should still have lines pre-marked with 6ft intervals. People who don't need to go out should stay home. Capacity in many places should half, if not lower. Take out and delivery should be more popular than dine in.
6. Hospitals are back to normal
They need plenty of bed space, no staffing concerns, and to be earning money like they used too. I touched on PPE above, but that should be back to normal too. Hospital PPE should be single use and they should still have a giant stockpile in case there is a new spike in cases.
7. No medication shortages
Whatever we find that treats COVID should be plentiful. Tylnol and cold/flu drugs too. It's not a cure if rationing means you can't get it.
8. Slowly return to normal, staggered
Slow and steady wins the race. Let's not all rush out and infect each other at once. Reopen more important businesses first, but in a reduced capacity. We need haircuts more than we need bars. Movies can be streamed from home. Stagger the days people can do things like shopping and hair cuts. When things work, we can accelerate after two weeks.
9. Government and leadership
We can't wing this. We can't all do what we want. Leaders must emerge to make a safe plan, announce it ahead of time, and track its progress. Updates must be frequent and clear. Medical professionals must be heavily consulted, or get to actually make the decisions. No more telling people to inject bleach or tan themselves inside out. We must have clear communication channels to alert people to problems. We must go back to sheltering at home when needed.
10. "A cure"
A vaccine would be nice. Short of that, a cure for the sick is virtually required. COVID can't still be a death sentence to 2-25% of the population.