Arizona and the nation are starting the task of reopening from the COVID-19 shutdown, and no one knows what will happen. Major decisions about when and how much mainly fall on the states, and they are taking different approaches. The economy has been in free fall, and Americans are getting restless as they want more services and income. Only time will tell whether things are being opened too fast, or possibly too slowly.
Gov. Doug Ducey has been in a tight spot as he seeks to get the state going again as the coronavirus cases and deaths continue. He actually is facing a recall effort tied to his earlier orders limiting economic activity. Meanwhile, much of life has not been so different for many Arizonans as they go to work and into stores to shop.
In Casa Grande, administration and staff have been planning virtual high school graduations, with the possibility of more traditional ceremonies in June, while a petition circulates seeking the traditional. Like the governor, schools are in a no-win situation. While COVID-19 has not been a big problem for the school-age population, operating regular classes certainly would have contributed to spread of the virus, and lawsuits no doubt would have followed.
While Ducey has been criticized for a piecemeal way of reopening that is confusing some Arizonans, there is much to be said for taking a gradual approach. That is more cautious and includes a certain amount of experimentation.
As restaurants reopen, customers will be farther apart for a while, and many other establishments and events will have to take that same approach until there is a vaccine or widespread immunity. That will have a lingering effect on the economy, but at least things will get better.
High school graduation is a very big thing to many students and families, especially those who do not pursue higher education. But that is no reason to abandon caution. The Casa Grande Union High School District is putting some creative ideas together to allow students and families to share memories online, and that is the wiser choice, unless the situation changes.
This graduation will not be like those that came before it, but it will be memorable nonetheless.