You can open the doors, but you can't force anyone to go through them.
Texas governor Greg Abbott allows restaurants, retail stores and malls to open at 25% capacity in most areas, and 50% capacity in some rural areas.
But open for business is one thing while customer traffic is another.
From that perspective, Texas is Barely Open,as malls, and restaurants remain empty.
The Domain mall in Austin, Texas, is open for business - unlike most of its 100 upscale shops - as the state entered its first work week of eased pandemic restrictions in the hopes of rekindling the economy.
“I’ve seen one customer today - they didn’t buy anything,” said Taylor Jund, who was keeping watch over an empty Chaser clothing store. “There’s absolutely no one coming around here.”
Christy Armstrong, who works for a food distribution company, made the rounds with her restaurant clients across the Houston area on Monday. During a stop at Arnaldo Richards’ Picos Mexican restaurant in central Houston, she saw a handful of customers sitting at a bar, separated from one another by Plexiglas barriers.
“It’s sad to know that this is the first Monday we’ve reopened, and a lot of the places are still very empty,” Armstrong said. “I’m a little shocked it’s so dead out.”
With temperatures in the 90s, Texans flocked to parks, beaches and rivers over the weekend. Beachgoers packed the shore in the resort town of Galveston, though police said most people seemed to be practicing social distancing.
A large gathering of youth at a lake outside Lubbock, in West Texas, prompted authorities to say on Sunday they were closing the beach there back down.
Reflections on Opening Safely
It's easy to open safely, if no one shows up.
Worried or Broke?
Are people worried, or are they broke?
Regardless, what sense does it make to open up, if no one shows up?
Malls and Restaurants
From a mall perspective, stores have to have someone watching every department.
This take a minimum number of people no matter how few workers show up.
Chicken or Egg?
If people are broke and don't show to shop, stores will be very slow at recalling furloughed workers. In turn, this ensures those who are broke due to lack of work will stay that way.
Eventually this will sort itself out of course, but the process may take a lot longer than most think.
Job Losses by Size of Company: Who Lost the Jobs?
In case you missed it, please see Job Losses by Size of Company: Who Lost the Jobs?
That 20 million is definitely an undercount given Unemployment Claims Top 3 Million for 7th Straight Week.
The 7-week running total is 33.476 million.