Play the Long Game

As a person who was born in a North Carolina, grew up in Connecticut, spent my twenties in Washington DC and moved back to NC in my thirties I have witnessed how non-southerners have thought about the south in the last fifty years. When I was a kid Yankees thought southerners were sweet, but not always bright. I knew that was not always true. I knew plenty of mean, brilliant southerners.

Over the years the image of the south has improved thanks in part to cities like Atlanta where many companies have grown up to be great businesses and great universities attract bright people from all over the world. Now with one incredibly stupid Governor in Georgia the reputation of the south is going down the drain overnight. To be fair, it is not just Georgia that is doing this, the Governors of South Carolina and Tennessee are helping.

In my humble opinion Georgia is leading the race in stupidity. Yes, the whole country wants to reopen, but not at the expense of our public health. The idea that bowling alleys, tattoo parlors, nail salons and massage parlors are worth spreading the virus is ludicrous. The livelihood of the people who own those businesses is important, but so are their lives and the lives of the people they come in contact with, knowingly or unknowingly.

Georgia has not had a decrease in cases of Covid -19, so this opening up can only go one way and when it does the reputation of the south will be set back fifty years. If you are concerned about the economy of your state don’t be an idiot and open up too soon. No smart business will ever pick you as a place to have an operation if you are the state that killed more of your citizens due to stupidity.

None of us can keep a virus in or out of a place and so as Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee stop being careful it will infect us all. Please, to any friends who live in these places, stay vigilant. Atlanta could become the next New York and it could have been helped.

This is not just about the short term economic pain, but the long term economic future of the region. These three states are shooting themselves in the foot.

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