Georgia Reopened 3 Weeks Ago, So What’s It Like?

ATLANTA, GA – While a lot of North Carolinians got their first real dose of normalcy over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, with beaches and barbecues full of those anxious to end the quarantine policies, those in Georgia have been actually reopened for more than three weeks now.

So, what’s the status of the state after making a reopening move that some called, ‘An Experiment in Human Sacrifice’? Let’s just say the doomsayers maybe wrong….again….big time.

From The Week:

“I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Atlanta is not burning. Bodies are not piled up in the streets. Hospitals in Georgia are not being overwhelmed; in fact, they are virtually empty. There is no mad rush for ventilators (remember those?). Instead, men, women, and children in the Peach State are returning to some semblance of normal life: working outside their homes, going to restaurants and bars, getting haircuts, exercising, and most important, spending time with their friends and families and worshiping God. The opening that began more than three weeks ago is continuing apace.

Oh, my apologies, you were waiting for bad news? Sorry, I forgot, we were actually not supposed to be rooting for the virus. Despite the apparent relish behind headlines like “Georgia’s Experiment in Human Sacrifice,” one assumes that most Americans, even the ones most committed to omnidirectional prophecies of doom, were actually hoping this would happen. While it really is a shame that we do not get to gloat about the cravenness and stupidity of yet another GOP politician, I think on balance most of us will be glad to hear that Gov. Brian Kemp was not badly wrong here.

What is happening instead of the widely predicted bloodbath?

Confirmed cases of the virus are obviously increasing (though the actual rolling weekly average of new ones have been headed down for nearly a month) while deaths remain more or less flat. This is in fact what happens when you test more people for a disease that is not fatal or even particularly serious for the vast majority of those who contract it, for which the median age of death is higher than the American life expectancy.

How was this possible? One answer is that the lockdown did not in fact do what it was supposed to do, which is to say, meaningfully impede transmission of the virus. In fact, data both from states like Georgia and from abroad suggests that the lifting of lockdowns is positively correlated with a decrease in rates of infection. This could be because lockdowns are inherently ineffective at slowing down a disease whose spread appears to be largely intrafamilial and nosocomial. […]”

North Carolina has a similar population to Georgia, similar cultural and sociological nodes, and many common points among our economic profiles. It’s certainly a lot more like North Carolina than New York City is, yet Governor Roy Cooper is intent on having North Carolina be the last in our region to emerge from this forced suppression.

If Georgia isn’t facing the kind of living Hell the doomsayers reflexively warn against when any return to normalcy is suggested, than maybe, just maybe, we should open up too.


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