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Our View: It’s up to you

The Union Editorial Board

It’s the question of the day: How do you decide when it’s safe to go out in the era of COVID-19?

Everybody’s got a different answer, and likely none of them are right for you.

The county, the state, even the whole country, is slowly lumbering toward reopening. The various governments are taking their own time, and doing it how they deem is appropriate.

Naturally, most everyone has a problem with it.

Every place is reopening too quickly. They’re not opening quickly enough. People aren’t wearing masks. There’s no reason to wear a mask. We must wait until we have a vaccine for our world to return to normal. The vaccine will implant a microchip in you.

Some folks actually believe that last one.

We’re in a situation of the blind leading the blind, and it’s not necessarily their fault. No one has experienced this virus before. We’re cautiously moving through a maze, blindly, relying on the experts because we have no personal history on which to base our decisions.

This isn’t a cold and it’s not the flu. As of Friday, it had killed over 101,000 people in this country. You can’t just take it easy for a couple of days and come back swinging. You can’t call mom and ask how she handled the coronavirus as a kid.

We’ve got to make our decisions about when we go out, and how we do it, ourselves. And we should base those decisions on facts and what the experts tell us.

One problem, though: The facts keep changing, because we keep learning about the virus with every passing day.

Imagine how business owners must feel. Inconsistent messaging has them wondering which government to listen to while navigating what’s likely the most difficult time they’ve ever experienced. Do you require all customers wear a mask, and potentially lose business? Do you have no restrictions, which could also lead to a loss of sales?

Lots of questions, and very few answers.

It was easier in the early days of the stay-at-home order. No decision was necessary. You stayed put. If you left your home, except in a few special cases, it was for food.

It’s a different world now.

It’s doubtful a uniform message will ever come from our various governments, and our own strong political leanings make it difficult to have a majority of people follow any consistent messaging, even if it did occur.

That leaves us in the unenviable position we often find ourselves in: The responsibility is on us.

The amount of misinformation circling about the coronavirus is staggering. Couple that with good, factual data that constantly changes, because we’re constantly learning about it, and you’ve got a bad recipe.

It’s going to take individual research, an evaluation of the community you live in and a dose of personal reflection before good decisions are made by each of us.

We appear to be insulated in Nevada County. Our number of cases, 41, hasn’t changed in a month. You’d think we’re in the clear.

But nothing is stopping anyone from visiting our community and bringing the coronavirus with them. Newly opened shops and restaurants will draw locals and visitors alike. You’ll need to decide which ones deserve your business based off their safety practices and your own level of comfort.

We can’t, and shouldn’t, stay locked away forever. However, myriad instructions from multiple governments provide no clear direction.

And the toughest questions of all — how to determine when and where it’s OK to go — are up to you to answer.

The weekly Our View editorial represents the consensus opinion of The Union Editorial Board, a group of editors and writers from The Union, as well as informed community members. Contact the board at EditBoard@TheUnion.com.


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