Letters to the EditorNews

Reopening Businesses Is Folly

Dear Gov. Kemp,

I am very concerned about your recent declaration to reopen many businesses previously restricted due to COVID-19. It is distressing that a second wave of infections is likely to occur following this premature lifting of restrictions.

It is also distressing that people who work in “liberated” occupations will cease to be eligible for unemployment compensation if they are no longer considered “involuntarily unemployed.” The situation for these workers is untenable. They must choose between putting themselves at risk (even with the safeguards that you propose) and financial disaster. It is unlikely that this workforce will be able to reestablish full employment anyway, as the justifiably wary public will likely continue to “shelter in place,” guided by common sense as well as local government recommendations. Your insistence that state regulations on this issue must supersede local government judgement precludes local governments from providing their citizens and workers with the safety and financial support they deserve.

Please reconsider your recent decision regarding this, or, at the very least, allow local governments to make their own decisions as to when it is safe to open various businesses, and allow them to provide the shelter of involuntary unemployment, if they deem it necessary.