Local Commentary

Be a Masker & Buy Locally

We and many others are seriously concerned that Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam suggested earlier this week that he is considering beginning to reopen the economy in just over a week, notwithstanding a lot of limitations.

The concern centers around the data presented by the Fairfax Department of Health, which covers Falls Church, that the number of new Covid-19 cases in this area is currently still on the rise. The prospect of throwing away all the efforts of the last two months to a resurgence is simply unacceptable.

According to the Fairfax health experts, the apex of the rise in cases here is expected to come around May 25 before either leveling off or gradually beginning to decline over a few months’ period. The federal criteria for even starting to reopen certain activities is a 14 days period of continuing decline in new cases. But nationwide, the death toll on Tuesday topped 70,000 and despite moves to reopen in 43 other states by the end of this week, it is continuing to rise.

The world faces not a passive deadly enemy in this virus, but among the most aggressive, ready to surge at any opportunity. If this was a war against a visible adversary, the thought of withdrawing while the enemy still has us under a relentless siege would be unthinkable. But this is our situation, except with an invisible enemy in our midst. Yes, it is very present in the City of Falls Church right now.

Anyone who may be tempted to gloat that they do not fall into any of the high risk groups needs to be aware that no group, identified by age or underlying conditions, is immune, and anyone, even with no symptoms, can be a carrier of the pestilence who may transmit it to others more vulnerable.

It may be the case that our society can divide itself between those who identify their capacity for empathy and wisdom by the wearing of a mask in public places, and those who identify their selfish arrogance and ignorance by defiantly refusing to don a mask under any circumstances.

We urge our fellow citizens to identify themselves with the former group in the spirit of the famous Falls Church social generosity. Be a masker!

In the same spirit, we urge citizens to make a special effort to patronize those local businesses who are braving this trying time by remaining open for “grab and go” commerce. It may be a lifesaver for many of these businesses to win the support of citizens for meals or gifts (Mothers’ Day is coming) bought in this manner, and it is not just a case of revenues but of the morale that can be boosted in a very important way by this practice.

As we come through this, we will find the warm feelings of love and camaraderie to be a major lasting effect for this community.