Today’s good news about jobs recovery, with businesses unexpectedly adding 2.5 million jobs, is a welcome glimmer of hope in an otherwise terrible week. I pray that our country can begin healing from the death, damage, and destruction that have devastated the lives and livelihoods of so many Americans.
It’s crucial that states open their economies so people can go back to work. Businesses are taking heroic measures to open their doors and help customers feel safe:
- Magnolias Restaurant in Loudoun County Virginia where I live struggled during the shutdown, offering carry-out only, and now has rented more than a dozen small tents to create socially-distanced outdoor seating in its front patio. So many other restaurants are spending a huge amount of money to reconfigure and redesign seating so customers will feel safe, even though they are limited in how many customers they can serve.
- A shop nearby has reopened but only three days a week and for shorter hours. “My employees would have to give up their big unemployment checks if they were to come back to work,” the owner said. “I’ll just have to wait until that expires August 1 to fully reopen.”
- My superb dentist, Dr. Chong Lee, continued to pay his loyal and professional staff during the shutdown even though services were limited to emergencies. He has created new protocols and precautions for over-the-top hygiene, asking patients to call from their cars when they arrive. A staff member in full protective clothing then goes out to do a remote temperature test. Patients then are ushered directly into the treatment rooms without spending any time in the reception area.
- Nonetheless, too many people still are afraid to go to the doctor. Public Opinion Strategies reports that 41% of Americans said they had avoided getting medical care in the last four week because of fears of COVID-19. My Forbes piece from late May, “600 Physicians Say Lockdowns Are A ‘Mass Casualty Incident,’” received nearly 1.8 million hits, indicating I believe what a huge and alarming problem this still is. Today’s jobs report shows that hospitals still have declining employment numbers, even as other parts of the economy begin to recover.
- So while businesses struggle to open after COVID, others may never reopen after this week’s riots. The Wall Street Journal editorial today reports on heartbreaking examples in “Who the Looting Ruins.”
“Zola Dias is the black owner of a clothing store in Atlanta. Sam Mabrouk has a denim shop in Columbus, Ohio. They’re only a few of the people whom intellectuals overlook whenever they rationalize rioting or say that property destruction isn’t violence,” the Journal writes.
“‘Seventeen years of work is gone,’ Mr. Tamay told the Minneapolis Star Tribune after his restaurant, El Sabor Chuchi, burned to the ground. When the rioting began, he stood watch. But last Friday he obeyed curfew, believing that the National Guard would control the streets. Then on Facebook he saw video of his restaurant on fire. He told the newspaper he didn’t have insurance because it was too expensive.”
Story after story of small business owners losing their life savings and life work in an instant of fire and looting. Heartbreaking. This must end!