Family business on the brink as forecasters predict 300k COVID-19 deaths

The pandemic gripping our country is bound to get even worse say scientists who predict nearly 300,000 Americans will perish from COVID-19 by December.

The data comes from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington and it forecasts in November 1,500 people are expected to die every day.

The stark numbers come from statistical modeling and in the best-case scenario, scientists believe stay-at-home orders will eventually be required again in multiple states to keep our medical infrastructure from becoming overwhelmed.

It was not good news for businesses struggling to survive in our state’s phased reopening plan.

Joann Evans has been preparing as best she can as her family’s business, Kenmore Lanes, has been on pause until our state’s phased reopening plan allows.

“We are not breaking even,” she said.

Kenmore Lanes has been run by the Evans family for 35 years. The bowling alley’s restaurant and lounge are helping bring in some cash but it’s just not enough.

“It’s been a great ride until this year,” said Evans.

“King and Snohomish counties are doing better,” said Dr. Chris Murray.

Researchers at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation released new modeling Thursday that predicts as many as 300,000 will die later this year and predicts Washington state may need to reimpose stay-at-home orders in November. Inconsistent plans for reopening public schools in the fall may skew the prediction, but that’s not the only inconsistency according to Evans.

 “Idaho’s and Oregon’s bowling centers are open so where are their customer’s going?” she said.

Evans believes a state-wide rally planned on Saturday will convince government leaders to allow bowling alleys to reopen It might be the last chance to keep her life’s work from rolling into the gutter.

“It doesn’t seem like bowling should wait until the Seahawks have fans in the stand,” she said.

Modelers say the data shows when governments both mandate and enforce face coverings it makes a difference, adding 70,000 lives could be saved if 95% of Americans adhere to the advice.