Editor's Notes

After a long workday last Monday, I shut down my computer and headed downstairs from my home office around 6 p.m.

The sun seemed to still be shining and I was anticipating a chance to sit on our deck and decompress for a while. But when I opened the door to the deck, I immediately got hit by a chilling wind that told me this was not the time to relax outside.

As I retreated to the kitchen, I started thinking about how cold, cloudy, and rainy so many days have been during our COVID-19 stay at home journey.

That might be for the best. The rare beautiful warm, sunny weather we had much of last weekend made it even more difficult to be at home. 

We’re now on our third day of the area’s partial reopenings — the so-called “yellow” phase.

According to the PA Driver’s Manual, “A flashing yellow light means CAUTION. Slow down, look, and proceed with care.”

The COVID-19 reopening yellow phase means pretty much the same thing. 

It’s been just about two months since we started to get serious around here dealing with the coronavirus. I went back and looked. The last time The Daily Item published a front-page without a virus story was Monday, March 9. That seems like forever ago.

As we celebrate Mother’s Day today in the midst of the early days of a partial reopening of some businesses, it’s appropriate to remember one of those foundational things our mothers taught us.

“It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

It’s fine to argue and even protest that the relatively low numbers of COVID-19 cases across the Susquehanna Valley mean we should be able to get back to normal more quickly than planned. (I do wish the protestors could manage to do so while wearing masks and keeping six feet away from fellow protestors.)

We have people risking their lives every day at area hospitals. A good number of those people, as you can read in Marcia Moore’s story on Page 1A today, are mothers. 

Why take the risk of catching or spreading this virus and forcing those health care workers to handle even more cases? Seriously? Just because we can’t go out to eat or get a haircut?

Here’s another thing my mom used to say: “Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should do it.”

I’ve heard and read a lot of stuff about how shutdowns have violated our rights.

Rights, though, aren’t free of reason and responsibility. Slowing the spread of a virus and protecting people from physical harm by others, I believe, is a legitimate role for government — indeed, one of the key reasons why we have a government, to begin with.

I’m not thrilled with some of Gov. Tom Wolf’s decisions. I continue to be troubled by his lack of concern for addressing public record requests during the pandemic. The state government is operating and making important decisions every day. How they do so, by law, should be an open book.

Overall, I think he and his team have done well in helping us to flatten the curve of COVID-19 cases.

On this most unusual of Mother’s Days, let’s hope enough of us remember what our mothers taught us and that our response to this gradual reopening doesn’t get us headed back in the wrong direction.

Email comments to dlyons@dailyitem.com.

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