With the coronavirus handily defeated and no chance of any additional people getting sick, Georgia governor Brian Kemp has announced that his state is “on track” to meet Donald Trump’s criteria for gradually reopening businesses that had been closed by the pandemic, with gyms, barbershops, nail salons and other similar places (this comes from Variety, which also lists “beauty salons” and “fitness centers,” which both seem like examples of synonyms) cleared to reopen on April 24. Movie theaters, “social clubs,” and dine-in restaurants will then be cleared to reopen on April 27. Churches will be allowed to hold regular services, but amusement parks and bars will remain closed for what we can only assume are totally legitimate, not-at-all-arbitrary reasons. Congratulations, Georgia: You beat the virus apparently.
Oh, but there’s an issue: You can’t really shut down entire industries and then expect businesses in one state to be able to just go back to normal with only a few days of advance notice. We’re all eager to prove that Donald Trump is a bold and wise leader who successfully defended America from this virus with only an acceptably horrifying number of deaths, but this seems potentially… risky. Don’t take it from us, though, we just make jokes about superhero movies. Take it from a separate Variety report, which features “insiders” from the theater industry suggesting that it will be “nearly impossible” for major theater chains to actually open back up by Monday.
Employees have been furloughed and theaters have been closed, so reopening would involve bringing back staff (or bringing in new staff) and figuring out how to properly maintain social distancing guidelines and training them on new anti-coronavirus cleaning procedures AND screening employees for the virus AND(!) determining who gets in trouble if theaters reopen and a customer ends up getting sick. Also, businesses that reopen will be limited to groups of 10, so it might not much sense to solve all of those problems just to put fill 10 seats, and there aren’t any movies out now anyway so theaters will be severely limited in what they can actually screen. You can’t just pop in a DVD and sell tickets. We’ll have to wait and see how it all works out, but don’t count on lining up outside your local Georgia-based movie theater to see Trolls World Tour or whatever.