Even though many states are now lifting lockdown restrictions, particularly those states where the coronavirus “peak” has already come and gone, Americans are leaving their homes in “trickles, not droves,” according to the Wall Street Journal, and absent a few notable exceptions, are largely abiding by “social distancing” and other virus-related restrictions without the threat of fines and jail time.
Left-leaning critics of the president and his Republican allies have been pressing the idea that states are being forced to “open up” so that individuals can get haircuts, go shopping, and go to the movies, but even in states like Georgia, where nearly all restrictions are now lifted, most people flocked to “hotels, booking agencies, airports, train and bus terminals” and to healthcare facilities, like dentists and nursing homes, per WSJ.
In Georgia, last weekend rivaled weekends earlier in March, not weekends earlier in 2020.
Restaurants saw the most traffic, but even over three separate states, only a million more people left their homes than in previous weeks.
“In the three states, about a million more people went to restaurants than the weekend before and about 70,000 more people went to entertainment venues like movie theaters, bowling alleys or sporting goods operations,” the WSJ reported.
Those that did go to salons found things significantly different than before the pandemic: “At one nail salon in Georgia, women wore masks and the shop would only let three customers in at a time. At one hair salon in Atlanta, customers signed waivers and had their temperatures taken.”
Despite concerns — and, in some cases, rising case totals — states are slowly beginning to reopen, even as experts predict lifting lockdowns will cause an increase in confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Aside from Oregon and Virgina, which have both pledged to keep residents in their homes until the end of June, most states are now easing restrictions.
“Governors across the U.S. have reopened business or detailed plans to do so in a patchwork of orders that vary by speed and approach,” WSJ reports. “Even in U.S. states where restrictions aren’t being lifted, local authorities in some areas are making plans to reopen. Two California counties, Sutter and Yuba, have said that some businesses such as salons, spas and tattoo parlors can open Monday under modified guidelines.”
Europe will likely provide the true test of how to return to a semblance of “normal” life after lockdown. As of Monday, countries like Italy and Portugal are opening up almost completely, giving residents the green light to resume shopping and interacting, with specific precautions. Spain and France have also begun the process of reopening. Experts there also predict new spikes in coronavirus cases, but believe the situation will be manageable.
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