A measured, careful opening is best

Posted 4/24/20

Florida beaches have opened. The governors of Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina and Mississippi have all either re-opened parts of their economy or are in the planning stages of opening …

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A measured, careful opening is best

Posted

Florida beaches have opened. The governors of Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina and Mississippi have all either re-opened parts of their economy or are in the planning stages of opening soon.

Protestors have taken to the streets, even here in Baldwin County. They want to return to work. They want their lives back to normal.

Governor Kay Ivey had a decision to make. The peer pressure must have been suffocating.

Alabama would not and will not reopen before April 30.

After that?  Ivey said flatly, “We’ll see past then.”

The fatal blow for those cajoling her to return to normal life, just like the rest of her trusted southern brethren:  Ivey said her opinion on when the state was safe to fully reopen “doesn’t count.”

Instead she will base that timeline on the research, data and opinions of the doctors and scientists she has leaned on since this crisis began. 

This measured, cautious approach will save lives.

Ivey was one of the first to shut down schools temporarily, as well as task her teachers and educators to move all learning online for the rest of the year. She made this decision long before some of the toughest hit regions with the longest death tolls. That alone may have stopped the virus from spreading across our state like wildfire, since thousands of school children no longer were able to pass it from desk to desk.

She was one of the first to shut down beaches and public parks and move crowds out of restaurants and normally packed venues. She was one of the first to ask her constituents to place their health above their paycheck.

No, this is not easy. Yes, many people will suffer a financial freefall. Ivey has no good answers to solve this problem right now. You can see she is devastated by the nightmare scenarios the virus has caused across her home state. She seems as desperate as the rest of us to find an answer.

But, she also wants every single Alabama resident to survive this crisis. And that, friends, in the end, is what counts.

Yes, we need to return to our lives, but the key is to be able to live. This virus spreads quickly and often without detection. It kills young and old alike. It is an agonizing death that leaves those afflicted suffocating slowly from the liquid filling their lungs.

And if we simply throw open the doors and toss caution to the wind, a new surge of cases may rise like a wave across our already stressed emergency rooms.

Those who find themselves in the next surge of cases may also find themselves lying on the floor of a waiting room as they take their last breath while overrun hospitals run out of spaces to treat them.

We are in a global pandemic. This is completely unchartered territory. It is scary. It is deadly. And our leaders are making some of the toughest decisions of an entire generation. We want businesses to open and prosper when the time is right.

We are proud to have Kay Ivey assuring first that we survive it. The rest we will figure out, together.