Message from the President & CEO
It is not Fair! The Governor has told us in the beginning that the data and the numbers would drive how the state would manage the defense against the virus. That has not been 100 percent true.
Yes, there is no doubt that the hospital wards are full of sick people at the hands of this pandemic, which kills those with comorbidities primarily the aged with weaken immune systems. Another group contributing to hospital numbers is those who congregate in large groups over holiday tables or parties for one reason or another. At such gatherings, few masks or social distancing is observed.
My argument is not with these protocols that should be observed. I question their effectiveness, but do believe they have some measure of protection. I wear a mask because I go home to a spouse with a severely comprised immune system, as others I may meet randomly.
However, we have been told that the spikes are driven by large gatherings where attendees have ignored the self-adherence to the simple protocols. I have yet to hear of a case where a person contracted COVID-19 from a small business or from eating outdoors. So why close these businesses down? Why leave bigger, national chain stores open with hundreds of people inside? Which seems to be riskier? It makes NO SENSE to shutter the smaller and let the larger operate.
Many small business owners have mortgaged their homes or burned through savings accounts to stay open hoping to “catch-up” on business sales during the holidays. It is a time when struggling businesses have a chance to stop or lessen the financial hemorrhaging. They also tell me of employees that they cannot afford to lose or pay. What happens to them if I close, they ask?
The small business owners that belong to the Chamber are doing everything they have been told to do to keep customers and employees safe. To the people of Lodi, I hope you come back to the small merchants, shops, and eateries of Lodi soon. They are an integral part of the community we all love. Without them we will not be the same livable, lovable Lodi.