Tomorrow, thousands of Louisiana residents will report back to work for the first time in months as the state’s closed economic umbrella opens back up and more and more businesses are re-opened.

Thousands more will leave their homes and frequent these businesses, taking us out of our “shelter-in-place” safe zones and back into the real world for the first time since March.

As Louisiana re-opens its economy, we understand that there is an excitement and a buzz amongst citizens who are tired of being cooped up at home.

We’re there with you. We, too, are tired of being locked indoors. We, too, can’t wait to get back to enjoying the wonderful things that Louisiana life has to offer.

But, with that having been said, we want to urge our readers to be cautiously optimistic and to please, please, please be safe, responsible, patient and thoughtful as we move forward in this re-opening.

In terms of being safe we mean toward both you and your neighbors. If you have to cough or sneeze, cover it with your arm. If you’re sick beyond seasonal allergies or other minor ailments, just stay home. If unsure, assume the worst and just stay home until you have a clear answer. When out and about, keep distance — stay away from others as best you can. We get it. We want to hug our friends and our neighbors, too. But right now, it’s not the best time for that. So just stay cheer and show them a smile.

Be responsible. If you don’t feel like you need to be in an area, then it’s probably best to avoid it — even if you’re now legally allowed to be there. If you have a large family and think it’ll be difficult to keep your kids in line with distancing practices, then maybe keep them out of the stores for a little while longer. If you have elderly or at-risk friends, parents, grand-parents or family members, do your best to tend to them. They, too, are free to get out of the house, but it’s highly advised that they continue to stay home. Offer to shop for them, bring social gatherings to their homes, instead of asking them to come to you.

Be patient. Pretty much everyone will be open again, but businesses will be open at 25 percent capacity. That is going to present some challenges to them, just like it will to you. They are not used to operating with such a limited capacity, and there will be challenges that will arise that may raise wait times. Be patient. They’re doing the best they can, and probably are even going above and beyond to please you, because they’re hurting and want dearly to generate repeat business in this difficult time. If at an eatery and it takes a little while to be served or seated, ride it out as best you can and be courteous. We need our local businesses and they need us, too. Let’s be a team in a tough time.

And also, please, be thoughtful. Let’s please continue to practice the CDC guidelines that have been engrained into our minds for the past two months. Let’s practice cleanly habits and do the best that we can to limit the spread of all of our germs. By doing so, we will also be limiting the spread of COVID-19 and keeping ourselves and our neighbors safe.

We can do this. It can be done.

Several states who have re-opened in recent weeks have not seen spikes in their cases, nor hospitalizations.

But it’s going to take work and it’s going to take all of us uniting as a team.

The new chapter of the book begins tomorrow and we all are the authors for how this chapter will be told.

Will we write one with a happy ending? Or will we make this a horror story?

That’s up to us and the actions we take to decide our collective fate.

Let’s make history together.

Let’s get our lives back to normal and continue our progress.

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