Reopening the Nation


Many areas of the nation are opening, either wholly or partially. As of April 29, 23 states remain shut down. State parks and beaches are available to several and hair salons are opening their doors. Even with the reopenings, businesses are still under restrictions such as imposing social distancing and wearing masks. With businesses restarting, health experts are concerned about another spike in cases that could possibly send the U.S. back to square one.


Georgia currently has a large section of its economy open, while April 27 marked the day restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, and bowling alleys welcomed customers. Stores still have to heed specific instructions from the governor, such as operating restaurants must follow a set of 39 guidelines from Georgia’s government. Tennessee’s state parks, restaurants, and retail stores are accessible in most of its counties. They plan to open the gyms around May 1. Another southern state, Alabama has yet to lift any major restrictions. Texas plans to take extensive action similar to Georgia, allowing things like movie theaters and restaurants to manage at 25% capacity.


Wyoming, Utah, South/North Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, and Arkansas don’t have a statewide stay-at-home order issued. Some states have said they need more information before announcing any definite reopening plans. Others intend to open one major sector at a time to slowly restart their economy. Very densely populated states such as New York and California will remain in extended lockdown.


With millions returning back to restricted-lifted areas, protests gather against the governors who haven’t. In Lansing, Michigan, thousands took part in a traffic jam surrounding the streets of the statehouse and on Thursday hundreds of armed people massed at the State Capitol, addressing stay-at-home orders. In Chicago, an assembly formed outside the Thompson Center voicing their governor should lift his restrictions. A staged rally by the Freedom Movement USA also occurred in hopes of a full reopening of Illinois. The president has encouraged the protests and told governors to call their own shots on how to open their communities. 


Dr. Anthony Fauci spoke on April 30 in an interview, warning the reopenings might potentially allow the virus to rebound. Over half of the U.S.’s governors are taking part in relaxing restrictions by May 3. Other state leaders are using another approach in their economies with caution to the 62,500 deceased across the nation. A report from the University of Minnesota indicates the pandemic could cause more spikes for two years until around ⅔ of the population gains immunity.