It’s impossible to talk about reopening America’s businesses without talking about the millions of tests for the COVID-19 coronavirus that the nation lacks.
Even so, Blaine County will host its second virtual Town Hall on Wednesday night and panelists will talk about the local economy, which has been toast since Sun Valley Resort closed suddenly on March 16 and a stay-at-home order went into effect four days later.
No one should expect an economic reboot to follow any time soon.
No one wants the Sun Valley area to become a coronavirus hotspot again, and no roadmap yet exists with a quick route to economic recovery.
The obstacles to reopening the local economy are daunting. One of them is President Trump who has refused to take action necessary to increase testing crucial in battling COVID-19.
His refusal is hurting Main Streets, including those in the Sun Valley area. It has left vacation destinations with the lousy choice between hunkering down and risking slow starvation, or letting COVID-19 roll on unimpeded to do its worst just to get it over with.
Without widespread testing and with no vaccine, no vacation destination can put out the welcome mat without inviting coronavirus to hitch a ride in as well. The reach of the virus will remain unknown along with the risk of easing restrictions on events—the lifeblood of the local economy.
A report by a panel of Harvard University experts released this week estimated that the U.S. will need to complete 20 million tests for coronavirus before it can reboot the economy safely. The nation is far from having enough tests, and Trump’s neglect has ensured that it will remain so for too long.
In the meantime, the pressure to re-open businesses increases each day that families have to survive on unemployment benefits or no income at all.
Blaine County and its cities shouldn’t emulate Georgia where the governor will allow businesses to reopen next Monday, contrary to the advice of health experts. It’s a madman’s experiment that forces Georgians to become guinea pigs.
Georgia is host to a hub for a major airline that serves thousands of destinations including mountain resort communities in the West. Thus, the governor’s decision could lead to heavy spread of COVID-19 nationwide.
No American should have to face the impossible choice between good health and a paycheck. No Main Street business should be left without options. Unless President Trump gets out of the way or gets going, the only options will be dangerous and the choices impossible.