Nothing beats the Hoosier state. Governor Eric Holcomb announced today that Indiana will be moving into Phase 5 of reopening for the coronavirus. This comes as the state has a 3.9% positivity rate for all its testing and has not had any extreme outbreaks across the state. This order officially comes into affect on Saturday 9/26. The statewide mask order will still be in affect.
This movement into phase 5 now allows restaurants, bars, large events and other places of business to operate at full capacity. This is great news and an exciting, hopeful step as we look to pull through this pandemic. It also gives businesses the opportunity to ramp up their efforts to get back to the levels they were at prior to the lockdowns.
Living in Bloomington, it is easy to tell how there has been a great impact on businesses because of the virus even though there has not been a strong presence of COVID19. There have been restaurants that have closed due to the pandemic and place’s inability to stay afloat. For a lot of the restaurants that have been open, it’s easy to tell how their reduced capacity had them operating on super thin margins and probably can’t sustain this for too much longer. As a city that has so many restaurants dependent on college student’s spending, it makes it near impossible with these restrictions to allow them to succeed long term.
Some bars have been open in Bloomington, but like I’ve said it just isn’t the same. In most cases there hasn’t even been an option to get up and talk to friends at the table right next to you. There is a clear handcuff on these businesses and with the governor’s order hopefully we can start to see an increase in economic activity.
The Chipotle on Kirkwood hasn’t been allowing in store orders for the past 3 weeks and really all I want is for there to be some type of normalcy where I don’t need to wait over an hour for a burrito bowl. Their online ordering system is a mess.
It will be interesting to see how the city of Bloomington and Monroe County reacts to this change. I wonder how much restrictions they will keep on these students and businesses that have been unfairly and irrationally placed in a county that has a total of 40 covid deaths.
The most notable closing has been Kilroy’s on Kirkwood. They have been mum on pretty much everything going on. But, there have been whispers that Indiana University is actually paying/waiving the rent of Kilroy’s so they remain closed and limit the amount of social gatherings in the city. This is all alleged, of course, but an interesting and potential corrupt(?) action that is allowing the bar to skate by not having to worry about the same troubles that businesses that are open currently are enduring. I have no proof of this to be the case, but you know how rumors spread across a college town. Hopefully now that we are in phase 5 they will open. And if they don’t, maybe there are some investigative journalists out there that can really find an answer and figure out why they’re closed and when Roy’s will open. I think it’d be an interesting story for the IDS.
And when looking at IU, I hope they look at this decision and react rationally. I’m not saying I expect them to completely reopen campus and allow in person classes. But, they should 100% allow fans in the stadium for the football games this fall. They should take back any threats of suspensions and sanctions they’ve put on students for simply living their lives. It’s time that they work with us students and not against us. We all want to succeed but we also want to have the liberty to make our own decisions.
I’ll be sure to keep y’all updated and I’m looking forward to continuing to return to normalcy. We have all sacrificed so much.