As economic developers, of course we want to see Coachella Valley businesses open. But in order for our economy to really function, we’ve got to prioritize the protection of public health. That’s because businesses need customers, and customers need to 1) feel safe and 2) be healthy enough to participate in economic activity.

Just this afternoon, Governor Newsom issued new closure orders. But despite the constant flow of new information, much of what we need to do to keep safe and to get back to business as usual hasn’t changed at all. We have to get serious about protecting public health before we can get serious about bringing our post-coronavirus Coachella Valley economy back to its full potential.

We’re in this together… six feet apart

We’ve heard this all before, but as infections rise, it bears repeating.

  1. Practice social distancing. This means maintaining at least six feet of distance from others, whenever you leave your home. Indoors or outdoors, maintain your space.
  2. Wash your hands. If you could use a refresher, the CDC has guidelines for you.
  3. Wear a mask. Masks have become a divisive issue, but the science supports the policy: they reduce transmission and keep people safer.
  4. Avoid complacency. As California moved through the process of an Accelerated Stage 2 reopening, many people went back to old habits pretty quickly. Dinner parties, social get-togethers, barbecues with extended family: these events are spreading the novel coronavirus throughout our Coachella Valley community.
  5. Watch for symptoms in yourself or in your family members. Symptoms may include: fever; chills; cough; changes in ability to taste/smell; fatigue; body aches.

There are hopes for a vaccine, promising treatments, and technologies which may assist with contact tracing. But right now, the most effective tools we have to fight the virus and therefore to protect our economy are the same ones which have been around for a very long time. Keep your distance; cover your face; wash your hands; stay home when you can; don’t go out when you’re sick.

People are tired of staying at home. Businesses are eager to get back to 100%. But we can’t do any of that if we fail to protect our health, and the health of those around us. We’re in this together, Coachella Valley.