Locals concerned about re-opening but eager to return to work

Published: Apr. 30, 2020 at 11:59 PM EDT
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As Ohio and the economy gear up to re-open, people have a lot of question about what that will look like, with questions and concerns about businesses reopening.

There are issues of unemployment, childcare, and safety precautions, and everyone seems to have a different struggle. But one thing seems universal -- uncertainty. And that is making people nervous.

"I've put so much heart and soul into this business," said Andrew Whitson, owner of Aquarium Masterminds.

Whitson is itching to open his store, but he's being realistic.

"Is it smart at this point to even give it a go?" he asks.

His store is small. With social distancing, he'd only be able to accommodate one, maybe two, customers at a time.

"What if someone does come in and contract the virus? Am I going to get sued?" he said.

Whitson applied for small business relief.

"I'm a little disappointed right now. It's been well over three weeks and I've seen no movement on it," Whitson said.

He wants the economy open again and thinks small businesses will need ongoing assistance while it recovers.

"Small businesses can't wait. We can't wait," Whitson said.

When it comes to getting back to work after the coronavirus shutdown, which feeling do you agree with most: relieved that you'll be earning a paycheck again, or afraid of getting sick or spreading the virus?

Posted by 13abc on Thursday, April 30, 2020

While small businesses face their own set of problems, employees are also struggling. One local woman is set to go back to work in the coming weeks, even though she's afraid. She spoke anonymously because she's nervous about retaliation from her employer.

"If they could guarantee it would be safe, I would have no problem going back," she said.

She doesn't think she'll be safe, but she's going back anyway.

"I would end up losing my unemployment and I can't afford that," she said.

Even through her fear, she said the economy has to open.

"We're at a crossroads right now, and it's a little scary to go forward, but we can't go back, but it's a little scary to go forward," she said.