SPECIAL COMMENTARY BY MSV PUBLISHER
On April 14th the governor of California held a press conference to discuss how we will move forward and how to start getting back to some normalcy. Although I use that term loosely, because things may not be normal as we have known it for quite some time.
One of the things that he discussed was when they do open things back up or become a little more lenient in terms of the restrictions, that we will see some changes in the way we live our lives in addition to businesses that we visit.
The following are some bullet points that I got from his press conference and that I thought were noteworthy;
First and foremost, there is no actual timeframe written in stone in terms of when we will see some other restrictions loosened up a little bit, or even to a larger extent. The governor said that he wanted to see some steady progress of cases, less hospitalization and less ICU cases for at least a couple more weeks as we continue to see positive progress. But only until he sees this type of progress for a while will he be able to give us more direction on when a lot of these restrictions will be lifted.
So right now, we don’t really know yet other than we need to continue to maintain the social distancing and continue to take the measures that we are taking to avoid the spread of COVID-19. If we continue to all do our part, the numbers should speak for themselves and probably within a couple of weeks we will get a clear answer as to what the immediate future holds.
The governor stated that we have been seeing a lot of progress because of the communities that continue to social distance and really continue to follow the rules including wearing masks, not congregating, and just using common sense when interacting with each other when having to do so.
If you will recall, I’ve been stating that I don’t see us returning back to normal for quite some time as I thought that even if they were to do some loosening of restrictions, we will continue to have to de-socialize unlike how we have been doing our whole lives. I think that the wearing of masks will be more common than ever even after this pandemic has passed us but in the short term, expect to see more people wearing masks and more people really just making an effort to distance themselves from others to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
IMPORTANT: The following notes are protocol that would or could take place once the restrictions are eased or lifted and not indicative of current activities other than the need to continue right now with our sanitation and distancing habits in order for us to get there.
One of the things that was discussed in regards to restaurants was when they are able to open up, you will see less tables at restaurants so that there’s more space in between customers. You will also be seeing servers and everyone wearing masks and he also touched base on disposable menus which I think are an excellent idea for all restaurants. Just think about it, you handle menus with your hands and all the people over the past two or three weeks that have been handling it are leaving their germs on it right before you’re going to use those same hands to eat.
And don’t be surprised to have someone checking your temperature when you walk into a restaurant before you are admitted.
While everyone recognizes the need for our kids to go back to school, we will probably see some changes in their daily school activities when they do go back to school “hopefully’ in the coming school year. One of the things discussed was staggering kids so that some come in the morning and others attend in the afternoon in order to keep safe distancing protocols. But remember, these plans are not set in stone but are discussions that are being had and ideas that are being shared.
PARKS AND PUBLIC PLACES
Parks and other public places will see an increased level of sanitizing and washing of surfaces in order to keep them as germ-free as possible. This includes schools that will see a lot of disinfecting and sanitizing efforts that will be constant.
before and during summer there are several holidays that will be coming in to place such as Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July with all of these events catering to large crowds. That was discussed and he brought up a great point when he said “the prospect of mass gatherings is negligible at best” during the initial phase of loosening of restrictions. And I have to agree with him, the last thing we want is for everyone to throw a party and here we are again. We will have to learn to do without a lot of these gatherings during these holidays and really other large gatherings like birthday parties and main events where people congregate should be reconsidered.
LOCAL AUTHORITIES WILL MAKE KEY DECISIONS
Some places in California are a hotspot for the virus spread such as Los Angeles and to a degree Santa Clara county. Santa Cruz county as we have been reporting has actually done a great job of not having as many cases so it would make sense to think that local authorities from different counties should be able to make adjustments as needed or tighten restrictions as needed. The governor clearly stated that this would be the case which is good news for our county. There’s no reason to go out and throw a party just yet, but our figures are looking favorable and once again, I hate to continue stating the obvious, but we need to continue with our social distancing and sanitation habits that we have been maintaining in order to keep us all safe.
As it stands, if we maintain the current standards that we are all maintaining in this county and the state, we should hear some more definitive answers and get a more precise sense of direction in the next couple of weeks as we continue to see a downward trend in the virus spread including ICU and hospitalization cases.
The governor stated that he knew that this was somewhat of an ambiguous announcement, but he wanted everyone to know that they are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
And that is good news for all.
• Check local info on Coronavirus @ www.santacruzhealth.org/coronavirus
Publisher of MSV
ABOUT ROB: Robert is the publisher of the My Scotts Valley Facebook page and MyScottsValley.com. He is a 24+ year resident of Scotts Valley and 34+ year licensed real estate veteran with Keller Williams Realty.