Reopening US states are taking their first steps toward a new normal
Carlos Davis used to have about 200 clients drop by his CUT-ology barbershop in Albany, Georgia, every day. On Friday, the first day he was allowed to reopen since the coronavirus pandemic began, around 30 clients came in.
Wearing gloves, a construction face mask and a face shield, Davis said he was taking precautions to protect staff and clients. A piece of paper on the door outlined the mandatory guidelines, saying clients must wear a mask and gloves in order to enter.
Davis is afraid of the virus, but he also fears losing his business. “If I don’t cut, I don’t eat,” he said.
Davis’s decision to reopen comes as a number of states have begun to loosen stay-at-home restrictions — even as the novel coronavirus continues to infect and kill people.
Across the country, more than 950,000 people have tested positive for the virus and more than 54,000 have died.
Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy allowed salons and restaurants to reopen in most parts of the state Friday. Oklahoma allowed some personal-care businesses to reopen for appointments Friday as well. Even in California, some beaches that had been closed reopened for public use, though with limitations.
Georgia’s reopening has been the most aggressive so far. Gov. Brian Kemp ordered the reopening of hair and nail salons, gyms, bowling alleys, tattoo studios and massage therapists on Friday, with theaters and restaurants to follow on Monday.
The reopenings come despite warnings from health experts, local mayors and even President Donald Trump.
The influential Covid-19 model by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, for example, says social distancing should not be relaxed in Georgia until June 22.