When disease spreads, is it a good thing to allow for the conditions to enable its spread? It appears that the State of Georgia may think so, as she is preparing to “re-open” even while the threat of COVID-19 continues to grow as ThompsonReuters points out.
A handful of mostly southern U.S. states will begin loosening economic restrictions this week in the midst of a still virulent pandemic, providing a live-fire test of whether America’s communities can start to reopen without triggering a surge that may force them to close again.
The Republican governors of Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Ohio all announced on Monday they would begin peeling back the curbs on commerce and social activity aimed at stopping the coronavirus outbreak over the next two weeks. Colorado’s Democratic governor said on Tuesday he would open retail stores on May 1.
Georgia has been hardest-hit of these states, with 19,000 cases and nearly 800 deaths, including a dense cluster in the state’s southwest. Amid a national debate over how to fight the virus while mitigating the deep economic toll, these moves are the first to test the borders of resuming “normal” life.
None of the states have met basic White House guidelines unveiled last week of two weeks of declining cases before a state should reopen. Most are weeks away from the timing suggested in modeling by the influential Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), based on the virus’s spread and social distancing.
With farmers, small business owners, and larger industries teetering on the edge, “I see the terrible impact on public health as well as the pocketbook,” Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said. (source)
It will be interesting to see what the result of this is.