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More reopening

It’s going great so far, right?

“Grandpa, what did you do during the COVID crisis?” “I got a haircut – for FREEDOM.”

Gov. Greg Abbott will allow hair salons in Texas to reopen Friday and gyms on May 18, moving more quickly than expected to further restart the Texas economy during the coronavirus pandemic.

The businesses will be required to follow certain rules, however, as the state continues to grapple with the novel coronavirus. For example, hair stylists will only be able to work with one customer at a time, while gyms can only reopen at 25% capacity, and their showers and locker rooms should remain closed for now.

Abbott announced the upcoming reopenings during a news conference Tuesday at the state Capitol in Austin, four days after he let stores, restaurants, movie theaters and malls reopen at 25% capacity. He had initially eyed May 18 as the next date to announce further reopenings, but in recent days he has faced growing pressure from some in his own party to move quicker.

Even as Abbott rolled out the additional reopenings, he braced Texans for “flare-ups in certain regions” and said the state has assembled “surge response teams” to dispatch to such problem areas.

After discussing barbershops and gyms, Abbott said state officials also want to reopen another type of business — bars — but are still figuring out how to do so safely. He said he wants feedback from bar owners, given that “not all bars are the same,” particularly when it comes to size.

The Friday reopenings, Abbott said, apply to “cosmetology salons, barbershops, hair salons, nail salons and tanning salons.” In addition to limiting stylists to one customer at a time, Abbott recommended salons use an appointment system only, and if they accept walk-ins, those customers should only wait inside if they can practice social distancing. Stylist stations should also be 6 feet apart, and Abbott said he “strongly” recommends stylists and customers wear masks.

When it comes to gyms, in addition to limiting capacity and keeping locker rooms closed, Abbott said all equipment must be disinfected after each use. Customers should wear gloves that cover their entire hands, including the fingers. Customers should maintain social distancing. And if customers bring their own equipment into the gym, such as a yoga mat, it must be disinfected before and after each use.

[…]

After the news conference, Democrats said Abbott was moving too quickly to further open up the economy, especially so soon after the initial reopenings.

“I thought we were waiting to see if the first round of re-opening caused COVID-19 spikes before making decisions on additional openings?” tweeted state Rep. Chris Turner of Grand Prairie, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. “It’s been four days.”

Look, Steve Toth and Briscoe Cain’s hairs weren’t going to cut themselves. Desperate times call for desperate measures, you know.

Look, I need a haircut, too. I’m sure my beloved stylist (the girls and I go to Venus Hair in the Heights; Miss Venus has cut their hair since they were little) has been hurting and will be delighted to see me, and I feel reasonably sure she’ll do what she can to sanitize the place. I’m still not sure I’m quite ready for it, though. As for gyms, I don’t go to those but I have done a twice-weekly pilates class at a small home-based studio in the neighborhood, and I’m sure they will be eager to get up and running again, too. We already wiped down the equipment after use, now we’ll do it before as well and will be even more thorough about it. We’ll also be in a small space (a converted garage), and I don’t know how I feel about that. I hate that this is hurting small business owners like these folks. I also had pneumonia in 2007 and have no desire to put myself at risk for a nasty respiratory virus.

If we had a functional federal government that had used the lead time we had to get a scaled-up test and trace regimen in place, we wouldn’t be in this position now. If we didn’t have public officials and society page dilettantes and various armed lunatics out there denying reality and putting everyone’s health and safety at risk, maybe we could have a more honest conversation about balancing risk with people’s ability to earn a living. If we weren’t coming off the worst week for infections and deaths in the state, maybe we could feel a bit more secure. I mean, seriously:

The number of new reported COVID-19 cases and deaths last week was the largest since the pandemic began, suggesting that infections remain pervasive and much is still unknown about the size and scale of the Texas outbreak.

The state reported more than 7,000 new cases and 221 deaths, an increase of 24 percent and 33 percent over the previous week, respectively, a Hearst Newspapers analysis shows.

At the same time, as testing expands, the percentage of Texans who test positive for the disease has fallen to its lowest levels in over a month — a point that Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has turned to recently as a sign of progress.

The data tracks closely with national trends, and has some health experts worried as states including Texas move to reopen their economies.

“We’re opening against a backdrop of a lot of spread,” Scott Gottlieb, a former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration under President Donald Trump, tweeted Monday. “Unless there’s a strong seasonal effect and summer slows transmission more than expected, we should expect cases to grow.”

You know who else expects cases to grow? Greg Abbott, that’s who. Please tell me again why we couldn’t have waited at least until we actually got the number of daily tests being administered up to the goal level he set before we did this? You can send a strike force to Amarillo if you want – you should also be prepared to send one to Palestine, too – but what exactly are they going to do to make this better?

I don’t know. I just don’t know.

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34 Comments

  1. This pandemic has gotten completely political now. If Abbott was wanting to lock down then the left would compare Covid-19 to the flu, cancer, dwi deaths, etc. etc. What ever position is taken on the pandemic the left will take the other. Problem you have is with your voters. Last weekend in Galveston do you think the only people who attended the beach was NAZI’S? RACIST? WHITE? BIGGOTS? WHITE NATIONALIST? Like I said before the mass is sick and tired of the lock down. Try and control it with conditional reopening or lose complete control.

    Remember the United States is more than the United States of New York, Maryland, New Jersey, and California.

  2. Manny says:

    No matter what ever position the left would take the fascists would take the opposite approach.

    Trump and his fascists followers have brought us “Mourning in America”.

    https://youtu.be/t_yG_-K2MDo

    The Lincoln Project are former lifetime Republicans that have seen Trump and his fascists followers destroy this country.

  3. Jules says:

    Paul, bull.

  4. Manny says:

    Oh Paul, I would suggest that you try reading a little more especially those fake news that is everything but Fox.

    Most Americans are weary of opening to early. The protests are basically the same Tea Partiers that claimed that they were against budget deficits, when it was really the color of the man in the White House that they hated. In case you have a short memory that President Obama.

  5. Manny says:

    too early, before Bill comes in with his grammar police.

  6. SocraticGadfly says:

    Put the Kibosh on Kubosh.

    Paul, do you represent state attorney generals accused of fiscal violations who seek for half a dozen years to avoid trial?

    If we reopen Texas, can we reopen Kenny Boy’s trial?

  7. Bill Daniels says:

    Jules,

    Are you really going to claim that the Wuhan virus is NOT political? Really? Isn’t it coincidental that the battle lines of reopen the country/don’t open are EXACTLY along partisan lines? Heavy handed government control vs. individual liberty? I mean, what are the odds?

    The problem, as I see it, for Dems, is, as the shut downs go on, more people who have been bankrupted and ruined by not being able to work or operate their businesses are going to jump ship and side with Trump’s ‘reopen the country’ faction. It turns out that people don’t LIKE having pain inflicted on them, especially for reasons that keep changing as time goes by. Originally it was just to keep hospitals from being overrun while we built extra hospital capacity. Remember those days? Look at HQC……it’s a cheap treatment that seems to have good efficacy, as evidenced by the Texas City nursing home example and others. Tell me that didn’t become politicized as soon as Trump mentioned it. Of course it was.

    Socratic,

    Whataboutism, much? I don’t see you calling for Senate hearings about Joey Two Fingers, the rapist. It’s just a job interview, right? Don’t you believe all women?

    (For what it’s worth, I believe that Paxton DID promote those pump and dump securities to his friends without a sales license. The charges against him probably have merit, but probably wouldn’t have been filed if there was no political hay to be made. In other words, had Paxton just been some average douchebag not in politics, I doubt he would ever have been charged with a crime.)

  8. Manny says:

    Jules, have you noticed that Bill likes to place things that his brain dreams up and give other people credit for having those thoughts?

    Bill is just a lapdog for the Trump Party, who does his master’s bidding. There are several polls that show that Trump would lose by the largest landslide in American History.

    Texas, tied, the idiot is now having to run commercials here. Whenever I use the word idiot in this comment, I am referring to Trump or his groupies.

    Arizona behind by eight points.

    Montana, Biden is getting close.

    Losing Florida

    Tied in Ohio.

    Losing Pennsylvania

    Losing Michigan

    Bill you people are getting desperate, you are going to lose that gravy train as a paid troll.

  9. Manny says:

    Bill, Trump and you people have destroyed America, that is why Trump is now having to run with a slogan of “Make American Great Again”.

    https://youtu.be/t_yG_-K2MDo

  10. Paul Kubosh says:

    I was in Galveston and I saw what I saw. If I was a political scientist it would be called field research.

  11. Jules says:

    I am saying Paul’s statement specifically is full of it. No, the left wouldn’t start spewing the right’s nonsense talking points if the right decided to actually start thinking.

    If Texas followed the Whitehouse’s guidelines, it would not be opening up yet. Of course trump is going out spouting open up, against his own guidelines, because he takes no responsibility. He and Jared have done nothing of merit against the virus.

    The republican party continues to put the wealthy over everyone else, a primary concern being families of dead meat processing plant workers suing the owners when they die, not trying to stop the deaths from happening.

  12. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    The coverup usually creates the bigger problem. Because Trump was at fault for botching testing and the early response…he ordered the GOP to pretend the disease isnt happening. Because he can never admit he made a mistake. Just double down on stupid.

    Thats what is going on here.

    And its likely to get worse. Now Abbott is on the hook for any spike (as he has removed all measures to slow the spread) so he will pretend it isnt happening. Expect that when deaths spike, Abbott will double down on ‘its a hoax’.

    Yes about 40 percent of the metro population will go back to business as usual. 30 percent will cut back at various levels, and 30 percent will largely quarantine.

    All because we couldnt wait another month to reemerge and get local (the state and feds appear to be against testing) testing/tracking up to speed so that we could slowly open the door.

    Pandemics cant be spun, folks.

  13. C.L. says:

    When/if you/we see the numbers of cases spike in two weeks and the number of folks dying starting to increase (again) ’cause, God Forbid, we can’t NOT go swill beer on Bolivar or pound weights at Planet Fitness, ain’t gonna be no closing the barn doors again and telling folks to stay inside. In all likelihood, it’s gonna be met with a ‘whoops’ by Abbott and Trump.

  14. Bill Daniels says:

    Here’s CBS News showing fake Wuhan virus testing, just a few days ago:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=694&v=oQWRCECbN-Y&feature=emb_logo

    And yes, let’s all agree that the number of cases will go up in Texas. Of course it will! Whether that happens now, or next month, or 6 months from now, it will happen. Car crash deaths will also increase! Get over it. Do you want to blame someone? Blame the Chinese Communist Party for hiding the threat, while exporting it to the world.

    Right now, you need to be concerned with, ‘do we have enough medical resources to deal with the increase?’ That’s why we shut down the economy to begin with, remember, to give us time to ramp up our resources?
    Building hospitals that would never treat anyone? Flatten the curve? Remember that? The same number of people are going to get it, just spread out a little more. Remember? Whatever the number of infected is, it would be the same, just spread out more or less, and I’m sure all the laid off doctors and nurses would be happy to go back to work, just like everyone else.

    Mass testing isn’t going to do any good, for reasons I outlined in another thread. But hey, FAKE testing, like the ‘testing’ shown in the link, that’s great! And you wonder why people flocked to Galveston’s beaches and said, ‘to Hell with all this crap!’

  15. Jules says:

    Paul, I’m not disputing your Galveston story, only the nonsense that democrats make up a bunch of lies like trump, limbaugh and hannity.

  16. Jules says:

    As far as testing goes, it would be great if meat processing plants and other places of business could have the same rapid tests that trump and those he will be around are getting.

    We will see what happens as far as opening up goes, but no doubt some won’t care that the curve has flattened and will choose to continue to socially distance. Some won’t care about social distancing at all, and never did. Some will be forced back to work with no PPE, no matter if they don’t want to get loved ones sick.

    The PPP doesn’t seem to be working that great, with people still unable to get unemployment or stimulus checks.

    We’ll see what companies do with office workers working from home.

  17. brad says:

    Bill,

    The only thing political about the epic cluster**** dropping of the ball by Trump and, thankfully to a slightly lesser extend Abbott, is that these intellectually dishonest numbskulls happen to be members of a political party.

    Trump/Abbott could be members of the Democrats, Greens, Libertarians, Reform Party. Doesn’t matter. Their historic intellectual dishonesty and ineffectiveness to handle and mitigate the crisis at hand is sadly the important point.

    I am surprised you haven’t just thrown up your hands and used the GOP/NRA’s trademark phrasing of “Our thoughts and prayers are with those who are affected” and “Now is not the time to discuss this topic so soon after the deaths”.

  18. Jason Hochman says:

    Hair salons should be safe. I saw that the mayor of Chicago got her hair trimmed, and said that she is the face of the city, and on TV, so she needs to look good, but for the proles it doesn’t matter. Obviously it is safe to go to a hair salon, barber, esthetician. The proletariat can get a hair cut.

  19. Jules says:

    Manny, yes I have noticed Bill’s fevered dreams about everyone else. He sometimes mistakenly posts his cuck fantasies of me on this local political blog instead of billscuckfantasies.xxx.

  20. Jules,

    O.K.

    Just glad the virus doesn’t survive in a grocery store.

  21. brad says:

    Can everyone here stop just wasting their breath (no COVID pun intended) and let’s focus on what’s really important…the Blue Angels just flew over Houston!!!!!!!!!!….

    …Oooooooooooo, nice shiny object.

    God Bless America, but not the dead Americans.

  22. Manny says:

    They flyover on the 8th again, different route.

  23. Ross says:

    Friday flyby is WWII Era planes from the Lone Star Flight Museum at Ellington. Blue Angels are done for now.

  24. brad says:

    Bill and the other “Patriots” (C.S.A., not USA) are crowing now about re-opening when the people currently being impacted are not representative of the GOP base.

    Bill, let’s talk in a couple months when the white, rural, uneducated, un-/under-insured parts of the country are devastated and there are no hospitals, or they are too small, in these communities to assist them.

  25. Paul Kubosh says:

    Brad,

    Is that a wish, prediction, or warning?

  26. mollusk says:

    What’s the justification for opening gyms but not their showers and locker rooms? Isn’t that where you clean your body and put on clean clothes after exercising? What is “safer” about walking out all manky with sweat and other precious bodily fluids?

  27. Jules says:

    Paul, it’s a prediction based on science. It seems like you don’t believe the virus exists.

  28. Bill Daniels says:

    Paul,

    You just don’t comprehend the 800 pound gorilla in the room here. Brad WANTS as much pain and suffering for everyone as it takes, in order to get rid of Orange Man. No amount of evictions, foreclosures, failed business, job loss, depression, suicides, domestic violence, or anything else is off limits….they WANT all of that. They WANT HQC to fail. They want many more dead. They want the US in a depression. They are desperate. They are like the humans with the nuclear bomb in Planet of the Apes. They are happy to blow up our whole country, in the desperate hope of defeating Orange Man. Nothing else matters.

    Listen, and understand. Brad is out there. Brad can’t be bargained with. Brad can’t be reasoned with. Brad doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And Brad absolutely will not stop, ever, until Trump, and those that support him, are destroyed. .

    🙂 Bonus points to anyone who recognizes the last part.

  29. robert says:

    All this fighting over businesses opening at 25 % capacity….no one will be making money at that rate, restaurants, bars, gyms, airlines….. they’d be better off staying home.

    The Republicans want to say, pull yourself up by the bootstraps and figure a way to make money at your business because we ain’t giving you any more cash.

    The pittances that they threw at regular people vs what they gave to big business is so typical (like that tax break) and everyone runs around like chickens picking at the seeds thinking that they got something good, smh

    If Trump thinks it’s safe to to pen up, let him go….without requiring everyone that comes in contact with him to be tested 1st….

  30. Wolfgang says:

    Q: What’s the justification for opening gyms but not their showers and locker rooms?

    I think the point is that the gym equipment is used individually (and has to be cleaned before and after each use) and that it is safer to shower at home b/c that would be a shared space at the gym (and would require more effort and cost cleaning between users). Presumably the people who use gym equipment at the gym, like weight machines and treadmills, don’t have them at home, but everyone has shower at home. So, folks then just go in to do or use what’s not available at home.

  31. David Fagan says:

    Tomato

  32. Jules,

    I don’t believe the virus exists. LOL “fake news”. Do you work for CNN?

  33. Jules says:

    Paul, I think you’ve said you use voice-to-text for your responses, so you may think you are giving more cues about tone than you actually are. I really don’t know what to think of your response, but if family members are concerned about you, you should listen to them.

  34. Jason Hochman says:

    The Blue Angels were great.