It's Time To Reopen New Hampshire

May 4th. That’s the day our governor’s stay home order is supposed to expire here in New Hampshire. The question is whether or not the governor will extend his order for another week or two...or four. Frankly, I’m hoping he’ll let it expire and let our economy restart, but I’m not holding breath.

I can see maintaining social distancing, use of masks, and washing hands as a means of limiting the spread of Covid-19. I can see limiting access to long term care facilities to reduce the possibility of infecting some of our most vulnerable citizens. I can see reopening hospitals and medical practices to patients with more mundane and normal medical needs.

Regardless of whether or not the state reopens for business on May 4th, one has to wonder whether all 10 counties will ‘reopen’ all at once, or if it will be reopening in stages, with the least affected counties opening first and the most affected opening last. That one is a tough call.

I would like to see all 10 counties open at the same time, but I understand if the governor wants to stage it. (I don’t agree with doing that, but the call it isn’t mine.) The two most affected counties are also suffering the most, economically. Keeping them closed longer than the other eight counties seems unfair and unwise.

Regardless of the date our state reopens, my employer has decided to extend their work-at-home directive until June. So far it seems to be working well as our sales are trending upwards and calls for support from existing customers has been doing likewise. I am splitting my time between working at home taking care of the paperwork and working in the lab, something that is working for me.

I admit I am worried about how our summer tourist season will be affected, knowing a delayed reopening can adversely affect the abilities of summer seasonal businesses to prepare. Those businesses include restaurants, resorts, rental homes/cottages, and other summer attractions. I have talked to a number of marinas in the area and they are seeing a paradoxical situation: many of their regular customers are calling early to get their boats ready for the boating season, but for the number of slips rented for the summer is down. That can change over a very short period of time, so I can’t say it is an indicator that the summer season will be a bust for those renting out boat slips. It could merely be an indicator that some folks are taking a wait-and-see position for now, watching to see how the summer season is shaping up.

Only time will tell how this is going to work out.