Georgia’s governor Brian Kemp puts on a daily warm-up act as a lead-in to Trump’s regular medical sitcom. (Why are Republicans doing all they can to pre-empt actual news? It must be because the real news is so bad.) Anyway, on April 19, Kemp mused on camera that although risky, it might be good to re-open restaurants, cinemas, gyms, nail and hair salons, massage parlors (seriously, folks), and bowling alleys. But he expressed doubt that enough employees and customers would show up to make it worthwhile economically. Now I know I done spoiled that joke by telling you he’s a Republican, but when I said it to myself “Yeah, that makes some sense, and he’s speaking his tribe’s language (profits over lives)”.
The very next day he announced that this Friday, those operations would be allowed to re-open. Movie houses and restaurants will need a few days to restock, so they won’t be permitted to open until Monday, April 27. He allowed that his advisors supported his decision and his bobble-head of a public health mouthpiece cheerfully agreed that the state’s infection rate was on the decline (six days’ of consecutive decline) – I looked it up. But Dr. Fauci (“Tony” to the orange fuehrer) is on record with two weeks of decline as the absolute minimum to reopen, if extensive testing has confirmed low levels of asymptomatic Covid-19 patients, and if strict social distancing is observed.
Georgia ranks 42nd in Covid-19 tests per 100,000 people. That’s not in the world, that’s out of 50 states. Georgia is 17th highest in Ameican deaths per 100,000, and the 8th highest state in deaths this week. I’m not the only one complaining: mayors of Atlanta, Savannah, and favorite beach town Tybee Island strongly oppose re-opening so soon. But like Trump, Kemp publicly warned them there is nothing they can do to stop him.
Dana Milbank noted in a Washington Post opinion piece that although one former governor of Georgia was a peanut farmer, Brian Kemp is an actual nut. And Milbank pointed out that Kemp’s people are basically lab rats in a real life experiment. He concluded that the Peach Tree State is about to become the Petri Dish State.
Georgia has something of a Covid-19 hotspot 100 miles from us in a place called Atlanta. A smaller, but much more intense hotspot is centered on Albany in the southwest. This sounds so crazy, but it is quite possible that in a month, we might be safer camped on the north shore of Lake Ponchartrain, just 35 miles from New Orleans. I have never heard anyone else say this, but ol’ Dwayne Cassius Pride of CSI New Orleans sums up this paragraph in a two word sentence: ”True dat!”