Editorial: Tread Lightly; Save Lives

By / Editorials / Wednesday, 10 June 2020 17:43

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

NEW HANOVER CTY - On June 4th, New Hanover County officials announced a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases. That increase was 28 new cases over two days bringing the total to 243. At 4:PM on June 9th, the number of cases was 288. An increase of 45 cases. Of those cases, 123 had recovered and five passed away.
In you look towards other localities throughout North Carolina, many are seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases.

The County and local municipalities recently eased restrictions including reopening beach access areas, allowing restaurants to operate under restrictions on occupancy and allowing short term rentals and hotels to reopen. The weekend prior to Memorial Day weekend, people began flocking to area beaches. Many license plates on vehicles headed to area beaches were from other states such as New York, Ohio, Indiana, Georgia, South Carolina and others.

Protests took place in downtown Wilmington following the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man last week in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Floyd's death was the result of a police officer named Derek Chauvin placing his knee on the neck of Floyd while other officers watched but did not help to pull the officer off of Floyd prior to his death.

Since the murder of  Floyd on May 25th, cities throughout the U.S. experienced protests calling for justice. In many cities, peaceful protests were hijacked by criminals inciting riots; looting and burning local businesses and causing harm to innocent bystanders and law enforcement.

It's human nature to have a strong desire to get back to the "normal" we enjoyed prior to the pandemic, but the latest figures show us that even a phased attempt at this point is not working in North Carolina.

Perhaps putting the breaks on reopening further than we already have is in order. Sure, gyms reopening isn't a problem anymore than reopening a library, as long as strict precautions are in place. Yet holding a massive July 4th Fireworks display may seem great at first, but encouraging massive crowds to flood into our Town could brand Carolina Beach as a major hot spot and ruin any logical measures our area has taken to this point.

Our business community is desperate to get back to normal and get back to making money, paying employees and enjoying their dreams of operating a profitable business.

Most of us remember having a cold or the flu as a child and even when we thought we were well enough to go out and play with friends in the snow, Mom would tell us to get back in the house  and go watch TV, read a book, or do some chores.

Every small business in our community has felt the pain of loss of revenues, many having to let employees go on unemployment, some businesses closing permanently. It's a horrible situation, but the overwhelming question is, what could make it worse for an extended period of time?

Government orders that continue to restrict businesses, or, abruptly easing restrictions resulting in drastic expansion of the COVID pandemic?

This is by no means an attempt to scare people, it's simply food for thought and a means to tip-toe back into a sense  of normal; whatever that may be.

If we as a society try to dive back into our perceived pool of freedom we all dream about, many of us could end up inadvertently killing others; friends, family, families we don't even know.

Let's wait a little longer. Tread lightly. Save lives.

And the Island Gazette cares about our readers and our advertisers. We both serve and rely upon readers and advertisers. Everyone should be safe and ultimately prosper in life and business. 

Hopefully we'll all be stronger on the other side of this pandemic. A stronger business community that supports an even stronger and overall  healthy community.

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