Of the 20 counties in the nation with the most deaths per capita from covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, five are in southwest Georgia, including Early, where Means lives. In the state’s hardest-hit places, African Americans make up most of the population, and about 30 percent of residents live in poverty. They’ve struggled for years with a severe lack of access to health care. Some counties have no doctors, no hospitals and a high percentage of uninsured residents. The facilities and physicians already were stretched thin…

“To open up businesses where it’s impossible to practice social distancing — hair salons, nail salons, theaters — people are like, what? You want to put everybody in a closed room, and that’s supposed to be okay?” said Demetrius Young, a city commissioner in Albany, the center of the state’s epidemic. “For black folks, it’s like a setup: Are you trying to kill us?”…

Glen Singfield, 67, owns two restaurants in Albany that have been shuttered for more than a month. He said he doesn’t plan to reopen them on Monday, when Kemp’s order for restarting the economy extends to restaurants…

“We were hit hard, and our restraint needs to be harder. We have to make sure we’re way beyond the curve,” he said. He hasn’t had time to come up with a plan, such as how to screen customers, to make sure he can keep everyone, including his employees and family members who work in the restaurants, safe.