Many small businesses that have closed may never reopen

The COVID-19 coronavirus continues to spread with increases in 32 states, including Virginia.

Yelp, which helps small businesses advertise on the web, says close to 66,000 of those operations have shut down for good during the COVID-19 Coronavirus.

Researchers at the Harvard Business School believe the number is even higher, perhaps 110,000 or more have shut down permanently, according to The New York Times.

Yelp says business says 14 percent of small businesses have closed permanently since March.

The Times tells the story of Mick Larkin, owner of a karaoke club in Wichita Falls, Texas, paid $1,000 for perishable to an upcoming, expected weekend. His frozen margarita machine was full, and he had a batch of booze-infused Jello in place for the party crowd, along with masks for staff and hand sanitizer for guests.

Then Gov. Abbott of Texas ordered bars across the state to shut down for a second time as virus cases rose dramatically, so Larkin and his partner dumped all the perishables into dumpsters, closed Karank It Karaoke and walked away.

“We did everything we were supposed to do,” Larkin told the Times. “When he shut us down again, and after I put out all that money to meet their rules, I just said, ‘I can’t keep doing this.’”

Virginia had 972 new cases of the virus on Sunday, along 63 deaths.

Floyd County’s virus cases jumped from 20 to 24 in a county where one new infection as day is news. Carroll County has 251 infections, more than Montgomery County’s 197. Roanoke, Salem and the county that surrounds both cities has 1,011 cases combined and added 11 new ones on Sunday.

With new cases surging in at least 32 of America’s 50 states, including Virginia, plus Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, the pandemic that seemed to be at least leveling off is roaring back in what many health experts predict could be an even worse surge.

Virginia is currently in Phase 3 of the virus recovery plan imposed by Gov. Ralph Northam, and it allows businesses to operative, under certain conditions, including social distances, limitations on customers and wearing of masks.

However, the mask order is routinely ignored by many who go to grocery stores, drugstores and business, which social distancing is a hit-and-miss operation and the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths are rising.

Northam warned Friday that he is monitoring the increases and if they continue, he may have to return to Phase 2, which places more restrictions on businesses and could also keep school closed,

Reports The Washington Post:

Restaurants, wineries, movie theaters and museums were told to shut down their indoor operations, while bars were closed even for outdoor service. In hard-hit counties, hair salons, malls and fitness centers were also shuttered.

The decision was the latest indication that America’s summer surge remains in full swing, and that policymakers are being forced to retreat from promises made in May and June of a respite from coronavirus-mandated shutdowns.

There were ample indications Monday that the pandemic will continue to severely disrupt life in the United States for months to come.

The Washington Post

The 32 states that are suffering massive increases of infections, two of them — North Carolina and West Virginia — border the Commonwealth and Virginia is now listed as one of the states where infections have increased by a rate of 41 and 55 percent, compared to the week pf July 6, when the rate was much lower.

Oregon’s governor has banned gatherings of more than 10 people inside and ordered face coverings in public places — inside or out. Chicago pulled the plug on this year’s October marathon race.

“The skyrocketing infection rates of the past few weeks make it clear the pandemic is not under control,” the Los Angeles Unified and San Diego Unified school districts says in a joint statement.

Anthony Fauci, America’s leading infection-disease expert, says we have not “begun to see the end” of the coronavirus.

Why? Because states tried too quickly tried to go from shutdowns to “complete caution to the winds,” Fauci said in a webinar with the Stanford School of Medicine.

Things are even worse in Florida, which shattered all previous records Sunday with 15,300 cases on Sunday, followed by 12,614 on Monday. Yet Disney World has reopened and the state is scheduled to host the Republican National Presidential Nominating Convention in August.

In Virginia, cases increased by 972 on Sunday, the highest hike in two months, and deaths rose by 63 and are expected to total more than 2,000 in the next day or two.

Fairfax County in Northern Virginia has 14,566 cases with 1,713 hospitalizations and 500 deaths.

While Floyd County’s infections only increased by 4 in Monday’s report by the Virginia Department of Health, that was a 20 percent increase, yet I saw at least half of the customers in Food Lion strutting around without masks.

Business as usual or bad business?

The numbers of those infected by the pandemic will tell. Right now, those numbers continue to look worse and worse.

© 2004-2022 Blue Ridge Muse

© 2021 Blue Ridge Muse