Susan, as we’re doing an emergency curbside pickup at Home Depot: “Bob! Slow down! This is our only time out, and I want to see EVERYTHING!”
I laughed, and, of course, slowed down. I think most of us can relate to that sentiment — sheltering in place is getting old. We’re ready to be out and about.
The news tonight was filled with stories about states beginning to lift regulations that have been keeping most businesses, parks, beaches, and more closed. It’s clear from the number of people taking advantage, many were ready to get out of the house ASAP. But is it safe?
A similar situation happened just over 100 years ago during the Spanish Flu pandemic. Then, as now, people couldn’t wait to get out of their homes. They left too soon, as it turned out, and a second spike of infections killed many more who almost certainly would have been spared if they had just been a little more patient.
I fear the same thing is happening again. But I don’t have a crystal ball — no one does. It’s easy for me to be more patient; I have savings to fall back on, plus temporary income from unemployment, and some alternate means of earning at least a partial income. But many were caught unprepared.
Small business owners, in particular, are in a very difficult position, many without a safety net of any kind. Small businesses are the foundation of our economy. They provide both the jobs and the services we rely on every day. Many of them will not survive if they can’t reopen very soon. That hurts all of us.
What do you think? Are you ready to risk a possible new spike in COVID-19 cases to get started right now on reopening our economy? Or are you willing to be patient a little longer?