Rambler Newspapers

Serving Irving, Coppell and Grand Prairie

Living in Strange Times

Phase One of Reopen Texas went into effect over the weekend and honestly, not much changed. Well, except for a massive brawl in my hometown of Lubbock that caused Buffalo Springs Lake to be shut down within a day of reopening.

While there are a few places that have opened their doors again, most businesses in our area remain closed. A lot of the businesses our writers have spoken with indicated they don’t feel safe enough or prepared enough to reopen in the midst of a pandemic. And many of my friends and neighbors are still not leaving their homes, except for the occasional trip to the store or a walk in the park.

So, what to do next? Open up more places, obviously!

On Tuesday, May 5, Governor Abbott announced that all hair salons, nail salons, barber shops and tanning salons could reopen for business on May 8, and that gyms and other workout facilities could reopen on May 18. These businesses will be expected to operate under the same conditions as Phase One: 25 percent max occupancy, staying six feet apart, et cetera.

Meanwhile, Dallas County has reported 200+ new confirmed COVID cases, three days in a row. It’s not a huge surprise, we expected the numbers to shoot up once businesses started opening again, but seeing the actual numbers being so high over continuous days is frightening.

Perhaps I misunderstood, but I thought the plan was we weren’t going to open up more businesses until we saw the numbers go down for at least two weeks. But now, the numbers are higher than they’ve ever been, and we’re throwing the doors open even wider, especially for places like hair salons and gyms.

How are you supposed to social distance when you’re hovering about the person with a razor in your hand? Are they going to give stylists 6-foot long scissors? What about the nail artists who have to touch people with potentially infected bare hands? And don’t get me started on gyms – those places were definitely not cleaned and sanitized BEFORE the pandemic.

It seems like many people are in such a hot hurry to get back to normal life that they’re willfully choosing to ignore the fact we’re still in the middle a global pandemic. Even the White House is going to stop their daily COVID briefing after the end of the month. There are still places in China that haven’t opened up yet, and they were dealing with this months ahead of us. This thing is not winding down. If anything, it’s ramping up.

But at least your hair and nails will look fab while you’re in the hospital.