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Our Opinion: Pioneering a path

A great experiment is underway in the United States. Led by a few states — notably, Georgia, and quite possibly right here in this part of Pennsylvania by week’s end — we are trying to determine how and when to begin recovering from the COVID-19 epidemic.

We know the risk: Allow people and businesses to ease away from restrictions put in place to limit the disease’s spread too quickly, and we could permit COVID-19 to come blasting back, at enormous cost in lives.

But we also recognize the hazard of not getting our county, state, and nation “open” again. Terrible blows not just to the economy but to tens of millions of Americans will cause lasting damage. Economic sickness can kill, too. It is far too early for some regions to relax COVID-19 limits. New York City residents will have to wait, for example. Unfortunately, we lack the knowledge to say with precision just when we can begin reopening and how the process needs to be phased in.

Places that take the lead in allowing some businesses — including fitness centers, barbers, and hair salons — to reopen will give us some of that critical information. We hope and pray things go well here, and in other areas where normalization efforts are being made; pioneering a path we all must take as soon as possible.

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