This Friday will mark the reopening of many essential businesses in Georgia and folks are confused. Gov. Brian Kemp announced the partial reopening yesterday after most of the state had been closed for weeks due to the coronavirus epidemic.
Among the businesses being given the go-ahead to reopen are salons, barbershops, nail salons, and other beauty services on Fri., April 24. Theaters and restaurants can start opening on Mon., April 27.
Ordinarily, this would be good news. But there is nothing ordinary about a global pandemic and officials like Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms are floored by the decision.
“I’m perplexed that we have opened up in this way,” said Bottoms in an interview Monday on Cuomo Prime Time. “I work very well with our governor, and I look forward to having a better understanding of what this reasoning is, but as I look at the data and as I talk with our public health officials, I don’t see that it’s based on anything that is logical,” she added.
“My mom owned a hair salon for over 25 years,” she said, noting the trying times many are facing. “This would have been devastating fo my family for her to have to shut down her business for weeks on end. But, you have to be able to live to fight another day. And so, when we are talking about this economic pull and getting to recovery, if we are not alive on the other side of it there won’t be a recovery to be had. I don’t know how you get a haircut and keep a safe distance from someone who’s cutting your bangs. It doesn’t make sense to me.”
The decision to reopen follows guidance unveiled by the White House last week, reports CNN. According to a forecasting model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), Georgia hit its projected “peak” for daily cases on April 7.
However, Bottoms shared that Atlanta’s coronavirus deaths and cases have continued to rise. “When I look at the data that we received from our public health department each day,” she said, “our numbers are going up.”
In addition, the IHME model shows that to limit another wave of cases, that Georgia shouldn’t start relaxing social distancing until after June 15.
Bottoms, along with other city officials, is urging residents to stay home despite the relaxed ordinance.
Press play below to watch the full interview.