As coronavirus cases and deaths reach record highs, some southern states have inexplicably decided it’s time to ease stay-at-home restrictions.
On Monday, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announced an incremental opening of businesses as early as this Friday. The policy would ease restrictions on gyms, bowling alleys, body art studios, hair and nail salons, and estheticians and massage therapists, with theaters and restaurants to follow on April 27.
Because what could go wrong with opening bowling alleys – places where people share shoes, squeeze their fingers into the narrow holes of balls touched by every other person imaginable and down a plate of nachos using their hands?
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster announced that as of 5 p.m. TODAY, some retail stores would be able to open at 20% capacity, with beaches to follow beginning Tuesday at noon.
The news comes after Governor Ron DeSantis gave the green light to open beaches in his state over the weekend.
These re-openings come despite the fact that no state has met the criteria outlined by the administration’s guidelines to “Open Up America Again,” which calls for data to show two weeks of decreasing coronavirus cases before openings should be considered. The head of the World Health Organization said earlier today that the worst is still ahead.
Meanwhile, the president continues to defy his own administration’s orders by encouraging protest and civil unrest throughout the country. The result? Mobs of people gathering together at city capitol buildings without any regard for social distancing or public health measures.
As fears of a second wave mount (despite us still being in the throes of round one), recent history has already shown us that mass gatherings inevitably lead to more sickness and death.
Kentucky recently reported its highest one day coronavirus infection increase, which is being attributed to mass gatherings over the past couple of weeks including Easter as well as anti-lockdown protests.
We hope we’re wrong, but as more governors prematurely open their states, we’re sure to see further spikes in cases over the next couple of weeks.