Disasters through the ages | RecordCourier.com

Disasters through the ages

It has been nearly 140 years since the March 16, 1882, avalanche that wiped out half of the town of Genoa and killed nine people.

In subsequent issues of the Genoa Courier, it was reported that whenever there was a big snowstorm, Genoa residents would sidle away from the mountain until the perceived danger had passed.

Almost to the day, 138 years later, another natural disaster struck in Douglas County, this time in the form of contagion.

On March 16, 2020, the first Nevadan died from the virus and Gov. Steve Sisolak closed the schools. Douglas County commissioners declared a local disaster in response to the coronavirus outbreak. By midnight on St. Patrick’s Day, the casinos across the Silver State were shuttered.

Like tiny green shoots breaking through the snow after that long-ago disaster, we’re starting to see some signs that our business community is reawakening.

But unlike the weeds that seemingly appear out of nowhere, Douglas County’s businesses are going to open slowly whether we like it or not.

Some businesses will lack the personnel to open, while others will take a little time to figure out how to keep their workers and customers safe.

And similar to those 19th century Genoans keeping their eye on the excessive snow collecting on the mountainside, Douglas County businesses may decide that social distancing is still the better part of valor.