On Thursday, April 30, at 5:00 p.m. retail stores and beaches opened to the public in Alabama. At a press conference the previous day, Governor Kay Ivey lifted some restrictions on businesses and beach openings.
From an economic standpoint, the openings in Alabama are very good. Many employees and employers returned to work and began earning a paycheck again. This order was a positive step in boosting the economy after the closures in previous weeks. A recent CNN Business article states that, “of 13.4 million US renters, 31%, didn’t pay their rent between April 1 and April 5.” Opening businesses in Alabama will help many people struggling to pay their bills. However, citizens must follow guidelines laid out by Governor Ivey to keep themselves and others safe and reduce the spread of the Coronavirus. The restrictions still in place are important and they should not be overlooked or ignored.
Kay Ivey explained in her “Safer at Home” Press Conference that while she cannot force Alabamians to wear masks in public it is “good, sound medical advice.” Ivey stated she, “[urges] [us] to wear face coverings around people from other households when [we] leave [our] house[s].” Ivey later stated, “All non-work related gatherings of 10 persons or more or non-work gatherings of any size that cannot maintain a consistent six-foot distance between persons are prohibited.” While it is very difficult to go shopping and have normal gatherings staying six feet apart, these are the precautions that must be taken for the safety of our communities.
Opening Alabama’s retail stores and beaches was a good economic decision, but the recommended suggestions for wearing masks and social distancing should be followed if we want to ensure that COVID-19 numbers stay low. Alabama is not back to normal. Citizens cannot forget that the Coronavirus is still a threat. We must understand that following the guidelines put in place by Ivey and medical professionals will help reduce the spread of COVID-19.