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I see many ways that Lubbock can start re-opening up, but there are a couple of problems.

The first question about re-opening is: "Is it too soon?" This is a VERY tough question and probably better left to figure out by the COVID-19 patient loads at our area hospitals. All of this is/was about "flattening the curve," so that too many people don't get sick at once.

Next up, there's a problem with manpower. Opening back up needs to be at the discretion of city officials, who also have to deal with enforcement. A lot of this is done through the Fire Marshal's office with a VERY small staff. How are they supposed to approve and monitor all these businesses for pandemic compliance, while still dealing with fire safety issues?

There are any number of stories out there about people who don't respect other's space. Imagine if just a business or two went for the short-term dollar and allowed "just a few more" people in that caused a problem.

Of course, opening back up needs to be done under U.S. and state guidelines, but there should be a method of individual business to submit plans. This is where there's a problem. There are many businesses that could operate safely, but who's going to review all those plans and who is going to monitor that they are followed? All of this could create extra time, money and personnel problems that may be worse than staying shuttered for another month.

I feel for the small business owners out there, because I am one. I hope you'll also remember that when you re-open there's going to be a large number of people not willing to "risk it" until everything has passed. It sucks, but it may be more cost-efficient to just wait this out.

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