Reader's View: Mayor needs to stand up to Walz, reopen
The death knell may have tolled for Duluth with Gov. Tim Walz’s latest plan to reopen Minnesota. The entire city was preparing to open June 1. However, the governor’s plan calls for restaurants to utilize 25% of outside seating only and suggests taking temperatures and wearing masks. In Duluth, most eating establishments do not have outside eating areas or very small areas, so this plan might only help a few establishments. And even then it is questionable as to whether the limited seating could support the cost of extra staff that would be needed to be called back to work. The governor, while apparently trying to appear reasonable, is not. He has really offered Duluth nothing.
Duluth relies on tourists and has a very short tourism season. Hotels, restaurants, and bars in Duluth have been hanging on by their fingernails, and this latest disappointment may be the last straw and cause a total collapse of our tourist industry and the economy of Duluth. I fear we are really close.
It is time for Mayor Emily Larson to stand up to the state and stand up for Duluth. Tell the state that enough is enough and announce that Duluth is open for business starting June 1. Allow local businesses to open and establish reasonable healthy safeguards, and remind those establishments they can be closed on an individual basis if safeguards are not maintained.
The final mortality rate for this virus is going to be between .5% and 1%, I feel. Higher in the age group above 60. If people feel at risk, they can choose not to go out or come to Duluth. While others can choose to participate and reopen Duluth’s economy.