Local leaders expect a long road to recovery even after COVID-19 crisis ends

Local News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Leaders at all levels are looking at how to eventually get the economy back up and running after the Coronavirus crisis comes to an end.

The latest research from some medical experts across the state has the crisis peaking in early May, which means some businesses could potentially start opening back up not long after. Mt. Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie says that at the end of the day, it comes down to numbers.

“When you see those daily numbers coming out, when the rate of new infections is significantly lower, that’s when we are getting closer to starting to crank up the economy again.”

Mayor Will Haynie, Mt. Pleasant

With restrictions in place on both local, state and federal levels, there are questions about who can pull the trigger on things getting reopened. Mayor Haynie says it will be a group effort. 

“It’s a path forward, and… all the protections are in place, there will be some tweaks here and some tweaks there, to try and stop the spread of this and try to mitigate the spread of this… what we have to look forward to is revitalizing our economy, getting businesses back to work, and I want everybody else to know, if you don’t hear anything else in this interview… government at all levels is looking at how to do that and when to do that.”

Mayor Will Haynie, Mt. Pleasant

Another Lowcountry Mayor, Pat O’Neil of Sullivan’s Island, agrees that it is going to take a lot of teamwork to move past this pandemic when the time comes.

“It’s going to take some coordination from the various local communities, beach communities and county leadership, and they have all been quite good and very collaborative, but I think we are also going to need some help from Columbia. I expect the governor will continue to be very concerned about trying to coordinate his leadership team with leaders at local levels.”

Mayor Patrick O’Neil, Sullivan’s Island

But Mayor O’Neil also believes we are still far away from recovery, and that now is the time to stay vigilant.

“Know that the way down from the peak is probably going to be as long as the way up to the peak was. And if people have the idea that once they get to the peak it’s all over, then I really worry that people are not going to be behaving as responsibly as they have been behaving in current times.”

Mayor Pat O’Neil, Sullivan’s Island

While it is too soon to paint any picture of what things could look like once they open back up, both Mayors say that leaders at all levels are looking for what makes the most sense.

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