Editorial: Business, individuals must remain vigilant, sensible as economy reopens

Remain vigilant. Maintain social distancing. Avoid large crowds. Wash your hands. Wear a mask.

Advice from global pandemic experts extend beyond those maxims to prevent the spread of COVID-19, of course, but they encapsulate the spirit of what’s required for Colorado to avoid a resurgence in COVID-19 infections.

It’s not a distant danger. States such as Arizona, Florida, Texas and many others have seen surges in coronavirus infections in recent weeks. Colorado reported a slight uptick in cases recently — the first increase since late April —  highlighting the danger as the state eases COVID restrictions.

Since March, Colorado has seen 31,100 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 1,457 COVID-19 deaths.

As the July 4 holiday approaches, Gov. Jared Polis has advised against large gatherings, encouraging Coloradans to spend the holiday only with family members.

It’s incumbent on individuals to exercise caution, remembering at all times that they could be asymptomatic carriers of the virus, and that anyone they encounter could also be a carrier. Individuals should wear masks when in public, especially when in confined areas such as stores.

Businesses, too, must resist the urge to open up too much. Requirements vary around the state, with some counties and cities promulgating looser restrictions than others.

Retailers should require that masks be worn by all customers and should strictly enforce social-distancing requirements.

It’s unfortunate that the wearing of masks has become so politicized, when that very wearing of masks can help get the economy reopened that much faster.

COVID-19 has devastated the U.S. and global economies, and Colorado, including the Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado, have not been immune. Restaurants that have thrived for decades have closed permanently. Small businesses have had to lay off or furlough workers. Contracted business has been lost.

But the fastest way to boost the economy, and to support small businesses, is to conquer COVID-19. Businesses can help accomplish that goal by implementing best practices as the economy opens up, taking care of their employees and customers alike.

We want a vibrant local, state, national and global economy. We yearn for the day when citizens can safely gather in large groups, visit their favorite brewpub, go on buying sprees at their favorite retail outlet, and enjoy life to the fullest.

Confidence is what will get the economy back on proper footing, and confidence will increase only when consumers are comfortable visiting businesses.

Stay firm.