We’ve been so focused, since mid-March, on the immediacy of the health threat from COVID-19 that we’ve had little time to think of the aftermath.
It was always abundantly clear that our return to normal life from the pandemic would not be like the flipping of a switch. And now that things appear to have quieted down enough to bring us to Stage 2 of the recovery, it’s becoming clearer just how nebulous that transition will be.
Mayor Jason Baker earlier this week introduced a concept many of us did not stop to ponder: The transition from a public health justification to keeping things closed, to a financial one.
You can think of it as a post-COVID hangover. As the health threat subsides – and we can’t take for granted, just yet, that it will continue subsiding – things won’t have to remain closed for health reasons anymore. But the city will be staring at a pandemic-generated financial disaster that it must deal with, as much as possible, in 2020. And that might mean keeping things closed even longer to cut costs.