Worse before better
If anyone ever wondered what Sandusky would be like if there were no Cedar Point anchoring the tourism industry, now it’s sort of like that.
This past Saturday, the park missed its opening day for the first time in its 150-year history, and it moved its planned century-and-a-half birthday celebration to the 2021 season.
There’s been no final decision whether the park will open at all in 2020, but hope fades that it can with each passing day in this pandemic. And, assuming it will be open in 2021, it will be a different fun-day experience than we’ve ever known. The park is considering a reservation system, limiting park attendance and implementing other changes that nobody ever before imagined might be required.
This is the new reality.
Local governments expect a massive hit in revenues — numbers that are too big for many to even comprehend — and some already have reduced the municipal payrolls and ordered other cuts in anticipation.
Local businesses, too, struggle as they must survive under new social distancing realities. They’ll also be hit by the ripple effect when the millions of tourists, who normally make it here each summer, are no longer coming.
The combined losses will be in the hundreds of millions — a level of failure that could make the Great Depression appear mild, in comparison.
Every business in Sandusky is feeling the pressure — some more than others — and it will be unrelenting for months longer, in the best of scenarios, and few are immune from eventually being touched by the adverse effects of this pandemic.
As the state slowly begins reopening, with retailers and salons and others unlocking their doors for the first time in two months, it is imperative that we all observe the guidelines to keep each other safe. It’s important that we keep our distances from each other, that we wear face masks and that we avoid congregating in groups.
It is also important that Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, and the governors in other states, continue to work to get more testing capabilities so testing for the virus can be widely distributed, accurate data can be collected and contact tracing can be done, which all aim to slow the spread of the virus. It’s important to hold the federal government accountable to help get that done and reject any argument that is it not needed or is unnecessary.
It is important, too, that we reject false claims of conspiracies, highly partisan games of gotcha and ignorance about the pandemic.
Buckle up. This will get worse before it gets better, and stand strong against the politics of division and anti-science.