ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp's decision to allow Georgia to begin gradually reopening this Friday has been met with skepticism in many corners and, in some respects, resistance - including in the form of petitions quickly gaining steam online.
More than 30,000 people in the last day have signed a change.org petition titled, "Shut Brian Kemp down on re-opening businesses." Another nearly 10,000 have signed one called, "Too Soon To Open Georgia!"
With the planned reopening of businesses like salons, barber shops and bowling alleys on Friday, Georgia is set to be the first state to begin reactivating its economy after nationwide shutdowns to slow the spread of COVID-19.
"This is going to violate social distancing expectations of six feet which is impossible given the nature of the job," Megan Meberg, the author of the "Too Soon To Open Georgia!" petition, wrote. "He is putting our healthcare resources, service workers, and their families at unnecessary risk."
On Tuesday, during President Trump's coronavirus task force briefing, Dr. Deborah Birx said she was "not going to prejudge" the policy, but conceded, "I don’t know how," people would maintain social distancing at businesses like salons.
"We cannot keep putting our economy and personal agendas over human lives," the author of the "Shut Brian Kemp down" petition, Meghan Dowlen, wrote. "This kind of negligence has no doubt spread the virus further, and the chances of more people getting sick/dying will most certainly be higher now."
Though petitions can't make any appeal to concrete action - Gov. Kemp is the final authority on the matter; even local mayors can't issue orders more restrictive than his - they offer a sense at how widely dissent may be bubbling.
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