Preventing a second business shutdown

To Our Visionary Members,

I hate wearing a mask. I wear a mask to protect myself, my family and others. I wear a mask to help keep local businesses open and help our economy keep moving. Like it or not, COVID-19 will be part of our lives until there is a vaccine developed and widely distributed or we develop herd immunity.

We don’t hear a lot of discussion about the COVID-19 end game. The Federal Government has funded “Operation Warp Speed,” which is pouring billions of dollars into vaccine development. We are hearing reports of a vaccine within six months. One report indicated a firm belief that if testing continues to be successful, they could have 100,000,000 doses of vaccine on the street as early as January 2021 (Note: US population is 330,000,000). At best, I see an end to this in spring of 2021. It could be a long winter; let’s not ruin it. Wear your mask, social distance, and follow the safety protocols.

We have heard a lot about increases in cases throughout the country and our state. Careless gathering and sharing have hurt the efforts. I’m not that concerned about the health of most 20-somethings we keep reading about. They seem to get through COVID-19 with no serious concerns, but the problem is who they infect. Older family members, younger family members, older co-workers and older relatives of co-workers. While I don’t want to contract COVID-19 and hope no one contracts it, my bigger fear is a second shutdown. Stay-at-home orders that would shut down our economy pose a greater threat to our long-term health.

Simply put, we must learn to live with COVID-19. Wear our masks, wash our hands, use sanitizer, social distance, and not congregate in large groups. Let’s face it, that’s tough for us. Social interaction is part of our human nature, and it’s summer too! Our Governor has been arguably a little overzealous in the length of Pennsylvania’s shut down, particularly about what could and could not be open. I don’t want to see that over-zealousness raise its ugly head again. A statewide, or national shutdown would be disastrous.

It appears parts of the country that opened too soon may have to go to various stages of shutdowns. Allegheny County (Pittsburgh) has closed bars. Large cities in some Southern states have COVID-19 cases spiking again. Sporting events and large gatherings will be a challenge until COVID-19 is no longer a threat. Let’s make sure that does not happen here in South Central Pennsylvania and other places throughout the country. This is not political, it’s pragmatic. For the health of our communities, region, state and nation, as well as the health of our economy, the cost is simply too great.

David Black
President & CEO

We’re here to help.

If you at any point have questions or are looking for help and support for your business, please reach out. We are committed to being a partner and resource to all of our members and help them with their needs. For more information about how to safely reopen, guidelines from the CDC and other national organizations, and PPE providers, visit our reopening page.