My governor here in Georgia, Brian Kemp, has proclaimed that many businesses that have been closed for weeks can reopen on Friday. These include a motley crew of bowling alleys, wax studios, massage centers, hair salons, nail spas, tattoo parlors and gyms. Restaurants, like the three I own, are allowed to reopen on Monday.No, thank you.The governor’s decision dismisses science in favor of throwing the economically desperate to the front lines of the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic. The hospitality industry was already among the first to succumb to the economic wrath of the pandemic, and I, as a chef and restaurateur, refuse to have the people I employ and work with used as sacrificial lambs for an economic uptick that is far from guaranteed anyway.I hope the governor will be getting a tasteful lower-back tattoo that says “These Veins Bleed Red” while enjoying a pedicure in a fine Spring Rhubarb shade; after all, he has a phalanx of people in personal protective equipment willing to ensure his safety, something that the rest of the citizenry has little access to.I closed my restaurants on March 15, and what a brutal ides of March it was. I furloughed almost 100


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