Stay Safe Out There, Prince William!

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Provided by Melissa Davies, Wise Ways Consulting

Local and national events are changing at whiplash speed. But in our need to voice our outrage at police brutality, emerge from quarantine, and find a way to establish a new normal, please, be safe.

There are many protests going on around the county and the DMV. People are exercising their constitutional rights to bring attention to issues that they believe are of concern. On Friday, June 5, a group of 75 protesters were marching along the I-95 Express Lanes Near Dumfries.

Cases of COVID-19 are still surging in Prince William County and as a result, Northern Virginia is still in the state’s Phase 1 opening stage.

Even if we weren’t facing a pandemic, walking along an interstate would still be dangerous, and illegal. Large crowds of people who are not wearing masks and not social distancing, because you can’t in a crowd, increase the community’s risk of transmitting the disease all over again.

Peaceful Protests

Of course, we have the right to peacefully protest. The pandemic has shined a much-needed light on the deep trenches of inequality in our healthcare system and the social-economic disparities across the nation and across our streets.

Showing up for our children and protesting for those physically unable is an essential element of being part of a democracy. At the same time, if you are hurt or sick as a result, you won’t be able to show up for anything.

The fortunate news is the virus has a harder time spreading outside, which is why Phase 1 reopening allows for outdoor seating at restaurants. That still comes with social distancing recommendations to stay six feet apart from others. This pairs with frequent hand washing or if unable, the use of hand sanitizer. Additionally, all Virginians have been instructed to wear a mask in public places.

Phase 2 Reopening

Also on June 5, a large portion of the state moved into Phase 2 reopening. This allows for indoor seating at restaurants at 50% capacity. Social gatherings can increase to 50 people, and gyms can open at 30%. This doesn’t include Northern Virginia. When will we move into Phase 2? Key metrics include hospitals and medical facilities having sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE); a downward trend of new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths; and a sufficient number of people hired to conduct contact tracing.

As we as a community move forward to going outside for any and all reasons, please stay safe. The pandemic isn’t over yet.

Do go outside! Refresh your spirit and your voice. Virginia State Parks are now open. They are some of the safest places to visit.

And I don’t know about you, but fresh air is always good for my soul!


Melissa Davies is an executive leadership coach and facilitator as well as the author of How Not to Act Like a BLEEP at Work.  She resides in Prince William County and runs Wise Ways Consulting, which specializes in leadership, management and team development, executive coaching, group facilitation and high-engagement training.  She can be reached at or through


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