HADDONFIELD, N.J. (CBS) — Tuesday marks 100 days since New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order shutting down nonessential businesses. It was an effort to flatten the curve and prevent COVID-19 from overwhelming health systems.
Many businesses in New Jersey have been allowed to reopen since that initial shutdown order, but some remain closed and are now on the edge of failing.
“I wanted to bring attention to the fact that businesses are dying and a lot of people’s futures are extremely uncertain,” said Matt Scarfo, owner of Full-Time Fitness.
Scarfo recently went on a 250-mile run from Full-Time Fitness in Morris County to Washington, D.C.
“I certainly learned more about myself in those nine days than I did in the 41 years prior,” he said.
When Eyewitness News last spoke with Scarfo, a husband and father of three, ran 50 miles to Trenton.
The runs are his way of protesting the shutdown orders. He says he didn’t want to risk his business license and reopen like the owners of Atilis Gym in Bellmawr did back in May. But he says he’s just as annoyed.
“Our livelihoods are in terrible danger and there is no light at the end of the tunnel for us,” Scarfo said.
Meanwhile in Haddonfield, the streets are starting to fill back up.
“We’re easing into our new normal here,” said Andrea Ranno, owner of The Paper Trail.
After being closed for more than 90 days, they were allowed to reopen last week. In the meantime, the stationary store started decorating the town with balloons.
“There’s a silver lining in everything and we try to stay positive and just look for what that silver lining is,” Ranno said.
“Like everyone else, we’re adjusting and adapting and we’re headed in a positive direction,” said Michael Hagan, with Passariello’s Pizzeria.
As the folks at Passariello’s continue to adjust, the state reported a slight increase in new cases compared to Monday.
Gov. Murphy urged people to continue to wear masks and to keep your distance from others.
“Don’t be the knucklehead that ruins it for everyone else. And the last thing any of us want to do is to put our restart on hold,” Murphy said.
Speaking to the seriousness of the disease, Murphy also said that the state’s death toll from COVID-19 is 12,949. He says that’s twice as many residents who’ve died from the flu over the last five years combined.