Reopen Our Little Corner

I would like to humbly submit my idea to help reopen business in our little corner of the world, Chautauqua County.

As of today, coronavirus cases in our county remain at 27 and only 39 people remain in a mandated isolation/quarantine situation. It would appear that social distancing and all other safeguards have worked well here. I’m not saying we are totally out of the woods yet, but we are definitely moving in the right direction.

So now is the time to get our economy going again, obviously in as safe a manner as possible. I have read the Goodell/Bordello plan and applaud it.

However, how about this?

Before you enter a store or a restaurant (yes, one open with seating again!) you have your temperature taken! Most restaurants have a hostess at the front of the establishment anyway, so they would wear a mask for protection and be responsible for “shooting” your temperature. If you have a temperature above 98.6 (or whatever the CDC guideline is) you cannot enter. If you are “normal” you can come in.

Pretty simple.

The hostess could also ask the question “do you currently have any coronavirus symptoms?” as an extra precaution. This would also have to be done for stores that are currently unable to be open. Most big box stores or home improvement stores already have greeters, this would become part of their job. If a store or restaurant wanted to open and did not have such a person already, they would have to hire one. I bet this would be a small price to pay for business owners, to be able to open and start making money again.

Let’s face it, no one really would love having to go through this screening — but in order to return to a sense of normalcy and an economic upturn? Look at how travel has changed since 9/11, especially air travel. We never had to take off our shoes, limit our toiletries to 3.4 ounces each in a quart size zip lock bag, or be subjected to the rigorous x-ray screening before then. Now we do and although it’s not something we especially enjoy, we do it because it keeps all of us safe when in the air. If this temperature check helps keep all of us healthy and safe from sickness, why not?

Restaurants might also have to change seating somewhat, at least in the first phases of reopening, to keep customers further away and promote comfort zones.

This could also be a way of being able to go to church and school again. School is more problematic because of students who take buses (they would also need to be screened by a monitor before getting on bus); even more problematic are groups of students who walk to school together before being screened.

Life will probably never be the same again until a vaccine for the disease is available, but businesses won’t survive if we wait until this happens. Even when the vaccine is available there still will be a certain percentage of the population that will refuse to get it (look at the flu shot!) and we can’t force people to be vaccinated, due to personal freedoms. I do understand that it wouldn’t stop an asymptomatic person from spreading the virus, but you will never have a 100% safe solution, no matter how hard you try.

This might be a good start to getting our lives back on track!

Carl Carmen is a Jamestown resident.


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