Livelihoods have been disrupted throughout Baldwin County as events cancel, restaurants close to indoor dining or close altogether and vacation properties are emptied under orders by our local elected officials.
Baldwin beaches, jurisdictions controlled by a patchwork of city, county and state officials, remain closed in a laudable coordinated, cooperative effort between governments.
These are tough decisions with millions of dollars and thousands of jobs lost or put on hold. The negative economic impact will be felt for many months after this pandemic subsides. Rents are lost that will never be paid. Tips are lost that will never be recovered. Same with taxes that would have been generated by thousands of tourists making purchases. Charities funded by community events and festivals will go unfunded for a year, with their beneficiaries left without funds. And many local businesses have lost sales, some with zero revenue for day after day that would have come from locals now sheltering in place and tourists told to stay away.
The economic impact will be far reaching even after normalcy returns and restrictions are lifted.
But in balancing livelihoods against potential lives lost, there is no question to be asked. Our city, county and state officials made the tough, painful, but correct call to shut down beaches, cancel festivals and empty condos. Local companies closing non-vital stores made the right, albeit painful call, to protect employees and customers.
We will slowly recover economically, but we would never recover lives lost through inaction. Our local elected officials and company executives at all levels worked together and made the correct, tough decisions.