I attempted to apply for a small business grant today. I was online and clicking the button one minute after applications opened. The site was overloaded and I couldn’t get in. An hour later they had a notice up saying please be patient as they had more people than expected. Within four hours the notice was changed to say that applications are closed. The level of fear scrambling for ways to keep afloat that small businesses are having to do is really high. I understand where the pressure to allow things to re-open is coming from. My timelines are longer, but many small businesses are basically hand to mouth on a monthly basis. From an epidemiological standpoint now is not the time to be opening things back up. Yet I think of the careful balance of radiation therapy or chemo, where the body is damaged with toxins intended to kill the errant cells before killing the person who has them. Sometimes the patient has to suffer the side effects, other times the treatments must be stopped because the patient needs time to build strength instead of being constantly drained. Some things need to be opened back up in areas of the country where cases are lower. Those areas can feed a little bit of strength back into the local and national economies while harder hit areas must stay shut down. This is one of the ways that we be brave and help each other. Just as another way is for individuals to stay home and work when they can. Then if case counts climb, areas close down again.
I currently live in an area with a lower case count. My state is already making moves to ease restrictions. They are doing so before we’ve even reached a definite infection peak. I fully expect this to result in a higher peak that is further out. Only time will tell if the peak is so high that hospitals are overwhelmed. Unfortunately the time delay means we can’t measure the results of yesterday’s decisions until two weeks from now. In those two weeks there are already plans to open up more things. We had a demonstration last Saturday which may result in an infection cluster, but again, we won’t know for weeks. I have mixed feelings about all of it. I understand the push to open and I fear the results of opening.