Let’s be clear.  It’s important that we continue social distancing, hand washing, and wearing face masks to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus.  However, we need to start having a discussion of how we start to get back to normal…even if it’s a new normal.

Let’s review some facts.  The virus is here to stay until such time we get a vaccine.  The virus has not been eliminated anywhere in the world.  The spread has been slowed down in some places, but no where has it been eliminated.

A vaccine won’t happen until next year at the earliest.  So, are we all going to stay at home until a vaccine comes out?  I sure hope not.

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This virus will naturally slow down as more healthy people catch the virus and survive it, they become part of the herd immunity preventing the acquisition and spread of the virus.  They act as firewalls preventing the virus from spreading further.

So, I’d like to get your feedback and input on what opening the economy looks like.  What can we do to open up portions of the economy, open up portions of our regular life, while ensuring the safety of the elderly and those with underlying conditions.

Assuming the number of new cases continues to go down, what areas of our economy should we open up next?  Federal, State, and Local leaders are discussing this now and we’d like to get your feedback.

Things we should consider re-opening in May:

PARKS
Parks, but not kids playgrounds.  People want to walk, run, skate, bike, and hike.  Let’s let them.  Start opening the parks.  Don’t permit gatherings and don’t open the kids playgrounds, but let’s open up some more green spaces.  (Kids playgrounds are the nastiest things in terms of germs.  Keep playgrounds closed.)

LIMITED RETAIL
Open up some retail stores like Best Buy, Apple, Barnes and Noble but with limited entry, social distancing, and face masks.  Basically, apply the same requirements we apply to the grocery stores to our retail stores.  Require that all employees and all customers wear face masks.  Limit the number of people inside the store to 50% capacity just like BJ’s and Home Depot are handling.

GOLF COURSE
Open up the Golf Course.  Require a mask when indoors and limit the size of the groups playing.  But golf is a sport perfect for social distancing.  I don’t see a need to keep our golf course closed.

TENNIS COURTS
The few times I’ve played tennis, I’m alone on one side of the court with my opponent far far away on the other side.  I don’t see why we can’t re-open tennis courts.  Attendants and pros should wear masks if they are serving clients, but it seems like any easy place to keep social distancing.

Tennis Courts

OUTDOOR DINING
Open up outdoor dining so long as parties are no bigger than six and each party is at least 10 feet from the other party.  This would be a good way to open up some dining experiences.  Require people wear masks if they need to go inside into the restroom.  All servers, waiters, etc. must wear masks at all times.

BEACHES
Open up some beaches, but limit the capacity.  I’ve been going to the beach all my life.  People by in large don’t want to be on top of each other on the beach.  Most people want a lonely spot on the beach away from others. We can open up some beaches where crowds can be controlled.  Examples of this are Crandon Park and Bill Baggs State Park where you can limit the amount of entries.

EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK
Open up the Everglades.  Ditch things like tram tours and limit the number of people inside the gift shops while also requiring a face mask.  But this is a an incredible jewel and wonderful experience that can be enjoyed while practicing plenty of social distancing.

MARINAS
Open up the Marinas but bar gatherings of more than 2 boats at any sandbar.  Boating is a great way to disconnect and social distance yourself from the rest of the world.  A few idiots forced the mayor to close down all the marinas.  Let’s open the marinas back up and show proper behavior by social distancing on the water.

SMALL BUSINESSES
All private businesses that are open by appointment only and can ensure social distancing and require all employees to wear masks the whole time should be given the option to re-open.  They must have a social distancing plan for employees.

 

DO NOT OPEN

There are certain things we can’t open even in May. Below is a list of some things we recommend stay closed until such time the health department deems it’s safe:

  • Public Pools – people are much closer to each other in pools than at the beach.
  • Rec Centers
  • Playgrounds – they are germ magnets
  • ALFs / Nursing Homes – No need to open up visitation just yet.  We need to keep this group well protected.
  • Bars – No social distancing and you have to remove your mask to take a drink
  • Indoor restaurants – There’s an argument to open up some restaurants if they can ensure social distancing inside, but let’s open outdoor dining first.  What do you think?
  • Schools – they are still learning from home
  • Arcades like Dave & Busters
  • Arenas / Stadiums
  • Cruise Ships
  • Amusement Parks
  • Movie Theaters
  • Indoor shopping malls don’t have the ability to control crowds and social distancing.  I think they should stay closed a little longer.

We need to start opening up more portions of the economy while continuing to encourage social distancing, wearing of face masks, and washing our hands.  We’ve done a good job in not overwhelming our healthcare system.  We’ve done a good job protecting the elderly.  We need to continue to do these things and safely open a few more areas of life.

We’ve only reviewed a small sampling of business.  What do you think should be opened up?  What do you think should remain closed?

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