This column represents the thoughts and opinion of Jason Hennington. This is NOT the opinion of the Taylor Press.
COVID-19 has caused a lot of businesses to adapt to Stay Home Stay Safe orders.
People are still trying to define “essential.” At the same time, people want to get out and go back to work.
Gov. Greg Abbott thought it was time to reopen the state, so he let the Stay Home order expire May 1.
But, we – as in the state of Texas – were not ready, even for only 25% capacity of a building.
Yes, businesses need to open back up and make revenue. Yes, people want to get out of their homes and back out into society.
But at what cost?
When your customers have to wait an hour and a half for an online order of pancakes – yes that really happened to me – is it worth the dissatisfaction? The restaurant I visited only had room for two cooks and four servers. Customers left upset or asking for refunds. When I heard the manager say, “Great job, Abbott,” I knew then we weren’t ready.
I’m sure other businesses are feeling the effects as well. Just go to a big box store and see how long lines are, inside and outside.
The idea to reopen businesses was great, but the fact is COVID-19 hasn’t changed. When Gov. Abbott let the order expire, he also made it so local governments could not enforce a mandatory mask order. Because of that, there are a lot of people who are not wearing masks.
Masks do not protect against contracting the virus, but if someone has the virus and they don’t know, it protects them from spreading it.
Movie theaters, libraries and other similar businesses have been allowed to partially open as long as they are practicing social distancing. How do you social distance in a movie theater without losing money? True, they’re making more money than they were when everything was closed completely. Again though, is the workload worth what they’re getting?
Barbershops and salons have also opened back up, but they have to practice social distancing. This could cause long wait times, but not necessarily inside the building.
On Monday, May 18, gyms and exercise facilities will be allowed to open. It’s going to be tough to workout with social distancing. In other words, no basketball anytime soon.
Schools can’t even have regular graduations. In-person is different from regular. In fact, I would bet the school districts are preparing to begin in August like normal, but also preparing to continue using technology in case school can’t start until September or October.
Like most people, I do hope this pandemic ends sooner than later, but I also understand that this is far from over. There is still a lot that is unknown about this virus. I want the world to reopen, but I don’t want it to cause everything to close again soon after.
I’m going to get off of my soapbox now and try this Disney churros recipe I found. I think the girls will like them … at least I hope.
“Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought.”
— T. S. Eliot