In just a few weeks, the coronavirus outbreak has made a drastic impact on our way of life. Terms like “social distancing” were unknown just days ago; now, they’re the new normal.
Unfortunately, that new normal has dealt a body blow to our local economy. Many more days, let alone weeks, of self-quarantines or Athens-style shelter-in-place rules and we’ll see those serious injuries become fatal.
If you run a small business, you’re no doubt feeling the strain of what’s happening in the world. A front-page story in this weekend’s paper brought it home: Restaurants are in crisis. LR Burger, a hot new entry to what had been a growing entertainment scene in Monroe, saw the workforce there and in two sister establishments in Lawrenceville slashed by 90.
We were gratified to learn Monday that Monroe officials are planning some sort of economic stabilization fund to local businesses through the hard times that suddenly dawned. That’s good. We hope the county government and other cities here will follow suit — and quickly.
To be clear, we’re not encouraging people to start gathering irresponsibly. There are guidelines in place, including rules against even small crowds. But many businesses are adapting. They need your help to the extent that’s possible, and that can be safe.
We’re all in this together, and we can’t risk erasing the progress of the last 10 years in just 10 days.
Let’s get going because the cost of inaction is incalculable — and not just in dollars.