So alcohol sales are soaring. In hard-hit New York City, domestic violence-related murders are significantly above the numbers at this time last year. (There was another one earlier this week in nearby Jersey City, N.J. A pregnant restaurant owner was murdered by her partner who went on to commit suicide.) Calls to suicide and mental health hotlines have increased by multitudes.
It seems almost certain that pressure to reopen will grow. But it’s likely that the perfect world, the one where we can reopen with full confidence that we will all be safe, will not exist — at least not within the time frame that we need. Thanks to President Trump, we are leagues behind on where we need to be to responsibly begin the process. We still lack anything resembling an adequate number of diagnostic tests or protective masks. Individual state efforts cannot fully compensate for a failed federal response.
We will almost certainly know within a few weeks whether Georgia was simply a New York City waiting to happen — or if by luck of geography, lack of density or simple timing, it is leading the way to get back to normal life. But make no mistake: Soon we will all need to take Georgia’s potentially fatal gamble.