It seems like the coronavirus kind of blindsided everyone.

Most of us heard about it and were aware of what was going on in other far away parts of the world. Then, before we could blink, the global pandemic was here.

One day life and businesses were booming and bustling and then, in an instant, everything stopped. Schools, businesses, sports and more ... all gone, at least how we knew them.

Wearing face masks, social distancing, staying home, working from home, remote gatherings, essential workers, virtual meetings and disinfecting everything (over and over again) has become the “new normal.”

We don’t know if life will ever return to the “old normal” but there are signs that things are moving in that direction. Thanks to a controversial ruling by the State Supreme Court many businesses in Wisconsin have reopened or are on the cusp of reopening. In Michigan, starting Friday, many restaurants, bars and retail businesses in the Upper Peninsula and the northern part of lower Michigan have reopened with restrictions.

Local, state and national leaders, along with medical agencies, are in very difficult positions. Because this is a new virus, medical officials have been working hard to learn how this virus spreads, and what are the best ways to prevent transmission. Political leaders have had to weigh public safety, vs. the devastation that closing down a booming economy creates.

It has been about a century since we faced a pandemic of this scale and magnitude.

We firmly believe politicians — be it Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and President Donald Trump — are doing what they believe is right. Both sides of the aisle differ on virtually every aspect of the pandemic. Criticism is rampant and it’s easy to be a Monday Morning Quarterback. 

What we do want to emphasize is for residents to support those small businesses that have reopened or on the verge of reopening. It’s been a very stressful time for those who have put years of blood, sweat, tears and cash into their dreams, only to see it crumble in about two months time.

Some businesses will recover — it’s going to take a lot of help and support. Others will never rebound.

Now more than ever local small businesses need citizens to patronize their shops, stores and establishments. We’ve emphasized “shop local” in the past. It’s really needed now.

We applaud area residents who utilized take out and delivery services from business in the past two months. We’re sure that was of some help to the owners.

When these businesses do reopen, we’re confident most will be taking extra precautions in regard to proper sanitation measures. We hope patrons follow the guidelines, which may include continued social distancing, wearing a mask and other regulations.

Someday, hopefully sooner than later, COVID-19 will be gone. Life will return. Children will attend school, sports will be played and, with everyone’s help, small businesses will prosper.