When I was growing up, I recall an expression, “don’t throw out the baby with the bath water.” I had no idea what that meant, but now, with age and some acquired wisdom, I fully understand. And, I fear that has become the preferred action of the day in the fight against COVID19.

I get it! The “c” virus is serious, deadly. I do not want anyone to get it and especially die from it. On the other hand, I do not want our economy and way of life to come to a screeching halt. Upwards of 20 million people have lost their jobs, and more will follow. Marietta Square seems like a ghost town — opportune time to shoot a movie without impeding traffic! So, having said that, I am hopeful that the powers that be will evaluate how to prevent contagion but at the same time keep working and living.

There is a lot of talk about mail-in ballots for the upcoming elections — a disaster waiting to happen. I believe as passionately as Stacey Abrams that every eligible person should be allowed to vote. Newspapers could print sample ballots several times ahead of the election so that everyone knew who and what to vote for in advance to avoid excess time at the voting booth. Extend early voting hours and days. Rather than crowd voters and workers into small spaces at the government office, think about using high school gymnasiums, or civic center, or family life halls at churches. Allow smaller numbers of persons inside.

Social distancing is appropriate, so let’s avoid crowds, but can’t we open the parks and safely distance ourselves! Restaurants — open to a smaller group for dining in. If capacity is 100, serve 25, spaced appropriately. If health care providers and grocery store staff can maintain safety for their employees, other businesses can, too. Not everyone can “work from home”, but is it feasible to rotate shifts? Preferable to work a night shift than not working at all. Ask business owners and employees for their ideas. Responses might be amazing.

Let’s work to prevent contagion and control this pandemic. At the same time, let’s get back to work and life. Don’t make the cure worse than the pandemic. Let’s throw out the bath water (virus), but let’s keep the baby (economy).

Stay safe, everyone. Use common sense.

Gloria Miller


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