With 22,000,000+ Americans suddenly unemployed, many voices in the news are now calling for the reopening of the US economy. The New York Times today is reporting that 29 states could reopen soon without dire consequences. New York is certainly not one of them, but almost 10 small and low population states like Alaska have had fewer than 1,000 cases and could risk re-openings. In Europe such countries as Austria, Germany, and Denmark are considering allowing businesses to return to revive their economies. In the USA several populous states like Texas and Florida are said to be close to trying to restart businesses and promoting more human interaction while maintaining social distancing to see if re-infection occurs.
While leaving Costco this morning Ruth and I began brainstorming which businesses will have an especially hard time bringing back customers. We quickly came up with 8 or 9 that will struggle to regain trust. Churches. Even before social distancing became the first rule of behavior, many churches were losing attendees, and churches are first and foremost gathering places for likeminded humans who prefer close human interaction. Choirs. How will they thrive in an atmosphere that only allows people to converse six feet apart? Cruise lines. Many people were stuck on ships that could not land so passengers could disembark and go home when cases of coronavirus were found among them. We have a neighbor who will not take another multi-generation cruise because every family member became sick while on that Disney boat. Travel in general will suffer–airlines, hotels, Uber drivers, and attractions will struggle to convince folks to go somewhere and risk getting viruses. I had to laugh when Governor Cuomo reminded mass transit passengers to maintain social distancing while waiting on subway platforms when the real danger is grabbing those straps and poles once on board. And how do big cities encourage mass transit during rush hour when people cram together in mass transit systems during a pandemic? Nursing homes. This past week Ruth and I read about the first case of family members suing a care facility for the death of an elderly loved one. Oh, oh. These suits will become common unless courts think of ways to prevent them. The New York Times is reporting today that New Jersey’s Andover Subacute & Rehabilitation Centers I & II has had 57 residents and workers die during this pandemic that began with extended care deaths in the Seattle area. Bars and night spots where people have traditionally gathered to drink, talk, and watch sporting events will suffer in an era of social restriction. Restaurants. Movie theaters!
Then we switched to businesses that will recover swiftly. Grocers, caterers, and pizza makers who have been bringing meals to the housebound for several weeks now should continue to thrive. Barbers will again be able to touch customers. Ruth, whose hair is getting long, was quick to add hair cutters and stylists to the list of immediate recoverers. Card board manufacturers. Sign makers!
Let the recovery begin.