We don’t even have to shut everything completely down to stop another wave. Outdoor dining is relatively low-risk. Brief, mostly silent visits inside retail stores should be, as well. Parts of our lives can continue if we wear masks, keep distance, and don’t spend lots of time exposed to strangers indoors.
But it’s obvious that there are some activities that we have to stop engaging in, and the sooner we stop them, the more lives we can save.
Cuomo and de Blasio do face an economic conundrum. Because Congress hasn’t passed more stimulus to help drowning small businesses and unemployed workers—and President Trump appears to have given up on doing anything about the virus at all—shutting down indoor dining means cutting off a source of revenue for restaurants that are barely scraping by as it is. Because Congress hasn’t bailed out our bars and restaurants and offered paycheck replacements for all the people who work there, they will suffer.
But businesses will be harmed regardless of whether the virus once again gets out of control. We could head that off. Yet instead of targeting the most dangerous places to stop the worst-case scenario, de Blasio is contemplating a shutdown of the city’s public schools as early as next week, before indoor dining might be rescinded.