The Beginning of the End?

Opening Up America Again – the first criterion for Virginia

Virginians are suffering financially and emotionally, without seeing the end of the tunnel.  How long will Virginia be closed?  How many people will lose everything because everything is invested in their business?  How many homes will be lost, families broken, dreams destroyed?  

The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.

H.P. Lovecraft

We need to know how close we are to reopening Virginia.  We need to see the beginning of the end, the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel

  • I call on Governor Northam to clearly explain his plan and the criteria for each phase of that plan. 
  • I call on Governor Northam and to set up a website dedicated to that purpose. 
  • I call on members of the General Assembly to encourage the governor to comply.

Begin with the most critical piece of information: When will Phase 1 begin?

While a definite date may not be feasible, a clear expectation of the date can be set. Governor Northam has publicly stated his intention to follow the White House recommendations, Guidelines: Opening Up America Again, for moving forward in recovery from the pandemic.  

“The White House Guidelines…are consistent with everything we have been doing and will continue to do, a phased approach based on science and data. The first phase of those guidelines requires positive test to be on a downward trend for 14 days.” 

Governor Northam, April 17, 2020

According to the White House Guidelines, that criterion requires a 14-day downward trajectory in the ratio of positive cases to tests performed.  The graph opening this post is from a spreadsheet designed to calculate and track the percentage of tests performed daily that are positive for Covid-19, to watch for a 14-day trend.  This simple graph makes complicated data easily understood.

Looking at my graph, the numbers peaked on April 13th and positive tests are currently trending downward.  If the trend continues, according to this criterion Phase 1 could begin on April 28th.  

Is this the only criterion required by the governor to begin reopening Virginia? 

If not, what are the other criteria?

I call on Governor Northam to publish a website with scientific data and visual presentations, updated daily, documenting how Virginia’s statistics are reaching ALL of the criteria in his plan. Show us the administration’s plans for dealing with the virus and reopening Virginia, and how those goals are being achieved. The governor should let Virginians understand how close we are to entering Phase 1 and set a tentative date. With that tentative date, clear guidance for businesses and individuals should be provided.

With a tentative Phase 1 date, businesses can begin preparations.  How must this specific workspace be adapted to meet the requirements?  Which employees are available to work in pairs to prepare for reopening?  Policies and procedures written, work schedules arranged, supplies on hand or on order, ready to open as soon as Phase 1 is launched.  Hope!

With a tentative Phase 1 date, citizens will look forward to getting back to work. We can begin planning family gatherings and church meetings in accordance with the new guidance.  Hope!

The fear of the unknown can be conquered.

Give Virginia hope – let us see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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