Perhaps the sun is rising again.
When word came out on Tuesday that Gov. John Carney had decided to kick off Phase I of Delaware’s economic re-birth plan on Monday, June 1, there was a nearly audible sigh from the business community at large. There are still limitations, and some of them are painfully prohibitive for certain businesses, but the news at least brought a sense of hope.
And that has been in short supply for many throughout this process.
So, starting June 1, the 14-day quarantine required of those coming into the state and the ban on short-term rentals have been lifted — generally meaning that vacationers can now enter the area. Retail shops, restaurants and other open-to-the-public businesses may open at 30 percent of their capacity (as determined by the fire marshal’s office) and outdoor gatherings can include up to 250 people — with the disclaimer that cloth face coverings must be worn and social distancing must be maintained. Yes, there is a lot to digest here, and it certainly isn’t ideal for these small businesses who are trying to get back into being operational again, but it is a start.
Carney was asked at his Tuesday presser if he was giving in to the business community, at the risk of public health.
“We’re not ignoring public health,” said Carney, who earlier said he sometimes feels like a referee in all of this. “In fact, we’re looking at all the indicators. ... That gives you a level of comfort that you can start to move to open the economy and not risk the health of the folks in the communities.”
It’s certainly a delicate situation. Open too soon and see a spike in COVID-19 cases, many more deaths and illnesses, and shut everything down again when it escalates, or stay closed too long and watch economic ruin dot the landscape.
For now, these are the guidelines. Let’s follow the route set forth, open our doors and get back to work. And let’s take care of one another in the process. The stakes are very high.