Southwest Georgia has one of the nation's largest number of coronavirus cases after accounting for its small population, and yet Gov. Brian Kemp announced this week that the state is beginning to lift its social distancing measures.
Why it matters: Anywhere in America — including rural or suburban communities — can become the next coronavirus hotspot, if the pandemic is mishandled.
The big picture: If any city or state begins lifting social distancing measures without the right public health measures in place, they run the risk of allowing the virus to get out of control.
- If the city or state already has a high and growing caseload, the effect of lifting the measures is akin to pouring gasoline on a fire.
Between the lines: Rural areas may have lower overall case numbers than cities, as is expected, but they also generally have much weaker health care systems that can easily become overwhelmed.
The bottom line: There is no ignoring or escaping the coronavirus for the sake of the economy. An economy can't function if people are too scared or too sick to go to work or go out to buy things.