Governor Charlie Baker had originally announced that all nonessential businesses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts would remain closed until May 4th. That date was later postponed another two weeks. Most of us in this state were hoping and expecting that when that date is finally reached things would rapidly return to normal I was one of them. My hopes were rudely squashed when I saw this article on social media: Baker: Mass. Businesses Closed Due To Coronavirus Won’t Be ‘Off To The Races’ On May 18.
Here is how Governor Baker describes his plans for the opening process:
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said that while he hopes some businesses will be able to resume operations soon after May 18, he added it will be a gradual process and not “off to the races.”
“There won’t be anyone firing a starting gun on May 18 and saying everybody’s off to the races, but we do hope certain types of businesses and workplaces will be able to begin resuming operations, under the guidelines established through this process, and based on the fact that we will have hit certain triggers, with respect to the status of the virus here in Massachusetts,” said Baker.
Instead of the rapid reopening we were expecting it looks now like it will be a long arduous process. According this quote from Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito the process might not even begin on the 18th.
“There seems to be some with an understanding that May 18 is a magical date. May 18 is the date that we said the report of this advisory board will be released,” she said, adding “It doesn’t mean that the economy across our Commonwealth will just reopen. It’s just not possible.”
How arduous will the process be? Check out this quote from Governor Charlie Baker.
“In the coming weeks we’re prepared to have more concrete plans on what each phase of reopening will look like, where certain activities and industries fit into which phase, general business guidance about social distancing, personal protection, and cleaning protocols that all businesses will need to adhere to upon reopening, and industry specific guidance and protocols for reopening safely,”
If Governor Baker’s reopening plan proves to be as slow and torturous as it seems from this article I’m not sure how many businesses will be left to open. How many people will have their livelihood destroyed for good? I believe the economic carnage by a painfully slow process will be staggering. I don’t believe the people of Massachusetts will stand by and let such a slow process play out. A major protest took place on this past Monday with at least a couple thousand in attendance. The protests will soon spread and become larger, Hopefully Governor Baker will listen.
Rather than relying on a committee of experts to come up with a plan which will be implemented by bureaucrats I believe Governor Baker should just let the business owners and the people of Massachusetts come up with their own plan. Decentralized decision making is always far superior to mandates from bureaucrats