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For Retailers, Georgia is the Canary in the Coal Mine

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Is it too soon too fast?

We’ll find out in a few weeks, I guess.

Today, Georgia will allow several non-essential and close-contact retail businesses to reopen, including salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, gyms and bowling alleys. Other businesses, including movie theaters and restaurants, aren’t far behind.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp (R) has taken much criticism for allowing the state to reopen too fast while the coronavirus is still dangerous and lurking. Georgia’s non-essential businesses have been shut down since early April.

But not every retail business is rushing to reopen. Some disagree with Kemp and will not reopen just yet. Others, though, are eager to get back to business.

But the million-dollar question is how many consumers will show up to get haircuts and huff and puff on StairMasters.

Sigh.

We’re all tired and frustrated of what has been going on the past several weeks. Angry, too.

I admit that my anger is all over the place. I’m mad at the politicians and so-called experts for sometimes spewing inflated numbers from their “models” related to the coronavirus. For instance, in Ohio, where I live, we were told that daily coronavirus cases could peak at 10,000 new cases a day. They didn’t come close to 2,000. So it does make me wonder how bad things really are, and why we have shut down the economy in such a draconian manner.

But then I watch what’s going on in New York City and Italy, and I become angry at myself for caring too much about economics and not enough about human lives.

Maybe you can relate.

Back to Georgia. The state is a canary in the coal mine of sorts. If coronavirus cases spike there because of the state opening too soon, it could be back to square one and shutting down non-essential businesses once again. Not good.

Or maybe most retailers and consumers there will embrace all the safety precautions possible and things will go smoothly. But is “most” enough?

We’ll find out soon enough. The canary has been released to the coal mine.

Editor’s note: I’d like to hear your views. Contact me at laylward@knighthousemedia.com.

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