While we hope to reopen our community, let us not do so too soon

Published 10:41 am Tuesday, April 14, 2020

For everyone who has sheltered in place, for every worker who has seen their employer closed and for every child who has longed for a return to their classroom and beloved teacher, Mayor George Flaggs Jr.’s press release Monday was a shot in the arm, a glimmer of hope and spec of light in a dark tunnel.

In a release Monday, Flaggs announced plans to hold a press conference Friday where he is set to announce a “plan to begin reopening city government, some businesses.”

But while there was a sugar-rush by man clamoring to return to any sense of normalcy, there is a somber reality that must be addressed.

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Nowhere in the media advisory did the mayor detail his plans, unveil his timeline or itemize businesses who might find their restrictions lifted. He simply said he would discuss his “plan;” no more.

It is our hope that the mayor gives key details that many have longed for, but that he does so with a very strong caveat.

We hope Friday’s press conference is a moment where Flaggs discusses how he plans to reopen the city for business, but says he will only do so after heeding the sage advice of federal and state leaders and the counsel of local and state health experts.

Warren County has undoubtedly been blessed with only — yes only — 14 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus. We have been told by health and emergency officials who are in the know that it could have been far worse.

While we have been and are blessed, we are where we are today because of the strong, unified and proactive leadership shown by city and county leaders who took actions long before they had to, long before they were told to and in some cases set the example others have followed.

We as much as anyone long to have our community reopen, our children to return to school, businesses to again thrive and our neighbors to return to work. But, we do not want any of those things if it means even one more case, or even someone’s life is lost, in return.

Now is not the time to let up; Flaggs has told us that. If we are to start reopening businesses and returning to some sort of normal, make sure we are doing so only after weighing the best advice and counsel of those who know best.