As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, so does the tricky balance between trying to contain the coronavirus' spread and trying not to completely wreck people's livelihoods and, increasingly, their patience and sanity.
Here in Wisconsin, "Safer At Home" orders were laid down by Governor Tony Evers on March 24th, to be in effect for one month. After schools had already been shut down, this order also shut down most "non-essential" businesses, forced many restaurants that wanted to stay open to offer only curbside pickup or delivery of food and beverages, encouraged significant restrictions on travel, and mandated social distancing. State parks were made free to give people a place to get outside but maintain social distancing; about half of them remain so, but last week the governor also ordered 40 state parks to close, citing lack of social distance cooperation, over-extension of staff resources and supplies, and vandalism. Most of these parks have been in the southern half of Wisconsin. Golf courses were also closed, much to the chagrin of golfers who had no problem pointing out that if you're going to play sport outside, golf is about the best for social distancing. And we're all dealing with either longer hair or bad haircuts.
Today (April 16th), Governor Evers announced that the "Safer At Home" order will be extended to 8am on May 26th, which is the Tuesday after Memorial Day. It means schools will remain closed for the rest of the school, but the extended order also allows for some loosening of the current restrictions.
Golf courses, for example, will be allowed to reopen as long as players maintain social distancing and the clubhouses and pro shops remain closed; scheduling and payments must be made via phone or online.
Public libraries will be allowed to re-open for curbside pickup and return of books and other materials.
Arts and crafts stores will be allowed to offer expanded curb-side pick-up of materials, apparently provided they are materials necessary to make face masks or other personal protective equipment, known as PPE.
Aesthetic or optional exterior work like lawn care or construction will be allowed under the extended order, but it can only be done by one person.
See additional details in this .PDF from the Governor's office on the extension, or in the video below from the press conference.