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As several states begin to lift COVD-19 restrictions, millions of Americans are wondering whether leaders have pulled the plug too soon. Certain hot spots have certainly seen deaths decline, with Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York reporting that the number of new daily coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and people requiring ventilators decreased.

This is great news for New York City, who has had the highest rate of infection and death in America since the pandemic began; however, other cities across the country are only just starting to hit their peak. In Texas, Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin and Houston have seen a steady increase in infections and deaths, with cities throughout Ohio, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina and Louisiana seeing increases as well.

In discussing the decision to reopen various businesses, infectious disease control specialists urged caution concerning the time frame, stating that, “…it can take up to two weeks for individuals to develop symptoms, then even longer to get tested and receive results, any bad outcomes from the first phase of reopening may not show up in time to caution against beginning phase two.”

Regardless, since government leaders feel that businesses can (and therefore) will reopen safely, families across the country are wondering what this means for them. While protocol will vary state by state, the overwhelming majority of plans proposed will:

1.) Reopen retail at a lesser capacity.

Non-essential retail locations will be permitted to reopen, some using order-to-go methods of pick up and delivery, and others allowing shoppers to enter below a certain threshold. Most direct contact agencies (such as hair salons, spas and tattoo parlors) will not be permitted until there is an additional decrease in reported cases. Many retail stores may decide to downsize due to economic concerns or otherwise once states begin to reopen for business. If that happens, self storage units might be a great option to help stores with excess inventory or manage shipping and receiving.

2.) Restaurants and movie theaters can begin servicing customers.

With limited entry and staggered seating, restaurants and movie theaters will be able to permit patrons for in-service dining, though the number of people per table (and family) will be monitored. Gathering sizes will still be set by state.

3.) Elective medical procedures will be reinstated

People will be able to undergo elective medical procedures, as well as visit medical and dental offices for routine care. All services will be conducted by appointment only, no walk-in visits or additional non-patient visitors allowed.

4.) Real estate showings and transactions can start taking place, though the timeline on this is unclear.

Countless families have been placed in limbo due to changes regarding real estate showings and transactions, which is why self-storage facilities throughout the country have seen an increase in monthly rentals. If you are in the process of selling your home, self storage can provide you with an interim place to keep your belongings, while details and time frames are sorted and scheduled.

5.) Schools will remain closed through the season.

While most states have cancelled in-person learning for the rest of the academic year, some are considering reopening for the 2020-2021 school year a bit earlier in order to make up for lost time. It’s safe to say that when schools do reopen, they will likely look a bit different. Many students had to move their belongings out of dorm rooms rather quickly in response to statewide lock downs and luckily, self storage units were there to help with the transition to remote learning.

Even though the country is starting to reopen slowly, it is still important to continue to socially distance by avoiding contact with anyone that does not live with you, while also taking the necessary safety precautions. Masks should be worn in public (mandated or not) and hands should be washed thoroughly. And, if you are 65 or older, have various health ailments, or show signs of being sick, you should continue to stay home.

In the words of former president Barack Obama, “There’s not a liberal America and a conservative America – there’s the United States of America.” By following the necessary guidelines and continuing to distance ourselves, we will get through this stronger than ever before.