DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Julio Davalos worries for his customers.
His family runs Lili’s Cleaners, a dry cleaning shop in East Dallas.
“It’s been really, really, really, really, really slow,” said Davalos.
With so many people out of work, many haven’t returned for clothes dropped off in February.
Davalos can browse the racks of clothes, ticking off the professions of those who left them.
“She was a travel agent…. One of my insurance guys,” he says.
There have been entire days recently not a single customer came in at all.
“I understand everybody’s trying to save their money, while they can. Until everything gets back to normal,” said Davalos.
It’s not clear when life will return to normal in North Texas.
Governor Greg Abbott says this week he will announce steps toward restarting the Texas economy.
“We’re going to be introducing Texas to a comprehensive team we’ve put together,” he said at a press conference Monday, “to carefully, strategically evaluate what Texas must do to open back up.”
Abbott warned it would be a slow process and that not every business will be allowed to reopen at once.
“There’s always a risk that we still could be very early in this,” said Dr John Carlo, former Dallas County Health Director and past president of the Dallas County Medical Society.
Carlo says Texas will need to see the availability of testing increase dramatically.
“So if the cases do start to go back up, we have a way to quickly recognize that’s happening in near real time,” said Dr. Carlo.
There are also efforts to improve the ability to quickly isolate those who are infected and identify anyone they’ve contacted, which include using cell phone data to trace a person’s movement.
Carlo says it’s a challenging task.
“This has never been tried on such a large scale in a community of this size,” he said.
Without elaborating, the Governor has said businesses that implement “certain strategies” could be allowed to reopen before others.
Grocery stores, Carlo said, have shown some measures that may work to slow the spread.
“The six feet distancing, limiting the number of people in a store at one time, avoiding any common contact opportunities,” he said.
A big break, he says, that could come far sooner than a vaccine would be an effective treatment against COVID-19, making its impact less severe for those infected.
“If we had that as a solution, I think it would be much, much easier relaxing all the social distancing that we have in place,” he said.
Standing in an empty dry cleaning shop, Davalos is eager for whatever it takes.
“I need to go to work, too,” he said. “I need more business coming in.”