As of this day, Friday, April 24, Lewis County had 29 confirmed cases of the Covid-19 virus. The first confirmed case in Washington was on January 21. This was three months ago.
At the same time, there are thousands of local businesses that are either closed, conducting restricted business or are out of business in this county.
In my restricted travels about our county, I see solid social distancing practices and many face masks. I see stations in the businesses that have alcohol and towels for hands and shopping carts and whatever. Good practices being adhered to. I see people wearing gloves and taking them off before they get back into their cars. I see 6-foot demarcations taped off on the store floors in front of the checkout counters. I see plastic cough guards have been installed between cashiers and their customers.
So, if our population is this responsible now, what is to say they/we won't continue to be. I know that I will be for months to come. Yep, mask, gloves, and alcohol. But do our businesses have to continue to be closed? Our healthy lives are important, but so is our ability to earn and be financially healthy.
I am not going to presume to know the particular situation that each business in Lewis County is experiencing so this is a decision each owner/manager has to make for themselves. In our case, our business, the Lewis County News, is considered essential so we did not close. We have office staff working from home. We have an over 1000 square foot office, where two staff members can work in-house so there is plenty of social distancing space.
Due to the very minimal effect that the virus has had on our local population, I am advocating for a soft, slow reopening. Will there be more local cases in the future? Most certainly. The businesses and customers just have to continue to be smart and be safe.