Critics of Gov. Andrew Cuomo like to pan him because he isn’t the orator his father, the former Gov. Mario Cuomo, was in his prime.

True or not, the governor, at his daily coronavirus briefing, pulled out all the stops and, shall we say, let the language flow.

Take this example when Cuomo reacted to the anger expressed by local officials about the 11th-hour delay for five regions to enter Phase II of reopening: “Today is today,” Cuomo said. “I wanted to make sure we had the best minds review all the data and give us their opinion. A county expert may be very good at what they do, but they’re not an expert of viral transmission. “It’s stone to stone across the morass. If you step on a lily pad across the morass, you will sink.”

Using one zinger and an oblique analogy, Cuomo crushed the old saying that an expert is merely some (bleep!) from out of town.

There are a few candles in the darkness.

Businesses will reopen with 50% occupancy and require all employees to wear face masks. Meetings are not permitted unless socially distanced. Workers should not share food or beverages. Barbershops and hair salons will open by appointment only. Stylists or other salon professionals must be tested for COVID-19 at least once every two weeks. The state recommends all workers get tested before reopening.

Some business owners across the state have threatened to reopen before getting the green light from state or local officials, or before their region reaches that industry’s reopening phase. These businesses must realize that reopening too soon could result in a COVID-19 resurgence and spread that will mean another lockdown, possibly longer than the first. This has nothing to do with the Constitution, but it has everything to do with common sense and caution. Rushing into reopening could result in more deaths; caution never killed anyone.

Several states and countries, including Mississippi, some California counties, Germany and South Korea, had to slow reopening after resuming business too quickly.

“They wound up closing again, which is the worst situation,” Cuomo said Friday. “The basic rule is, it’s still about how we act. ... It’s reopening to a new normal — a safer normal.”

In the final analysis, a successful reopening is up to us.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1


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