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| 1 minute read

Reopening America: Let the Clutch Out Slow-ly

After 6 weeks of holding our breaths safer at home, America is starting to turn red, white, and blue. Although many of us will find ourselves still sheltering for a bit longer, many jurisdictions appear to be ready to lift restrictions.

But, having the restrictions lifted will not mean going back to the way things were. "The new normal" and "staying safe" have quickly become ingrained in our collective psyche. Unfortunately, while we all have some sense of what that means now, we really have no idea what that means when we reopen. 

And, that's where businesses need to be cautious. Surely the reopened country will be different than today, but it will also be very different than it was on January 1. We will have a new "new normal" and new ways of "staying safe." People's preferences, concerns, resources, and priorities will all be different than they were before the pandemic. 

It won't be like flipping on a light-companies will not be able to simply pick up where they left off when they closed. Rather, it will be like putting a stopped car into gear-they will need to delicately balance a number of issues as they bring their operations back up to speed. Among other things, they will need to consider workplace employee safety policies, address employee morale, coordinate with landlords over access to offices and other facilities, rebuild supply chains, and re-evaluate product and service offerings to match new consumer preferences. If they are not careful when they reopen, companies will see their businesses grind to a halt. 

Knowing that, companies should be working with their advisors well in advance of any restrictions being lifted to plan out how they will restart their operations. 

President Trump has unveiled Guidelines for Opening Up America Again, a three-phased approach based on the advice of public health experts. These steps will help state and local officials when reopening their economies, getting people back to work, and continuing to protect American lives.


coronavirus, covid-19, reopening