KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS
As things are slowly reopening, we can not be too eager for a ‘normal’ outcome. The year of 2020 has been extremely trying for us all. The Coronavirus pandemic has turned our norm into an unusual place to be. Stay at home orders were put into place, businesses were shutting down, millions of people lost their jobs, schools closed, and we were all told to distance ourselves from others; this all seemed so surreal, as if it were something out of a movie. This was our new reality. The start of 2020 had already made its grand entrance, and we could not do anything about it.
Mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta, Georgia was one of the first to take action in the premature phases of the pandemic. In an early interview with Ailsa Chang, Bottoms expressed that her early decisions to limit gatherings and close down businesses stemmed from one of her quarterly meetings, where Dr. Carlos del Rio explained the severity of the Coronavirus and the many fatalities that have already perspired during that time. Bottoms stated, “he essentially shared with us that we had a 24-to-48 hour window...many of our major companies shut down that day”. (2020 NPR) As the interview continued, Bottoms mentioned using social media as another outlet to reach out to the people of Atlanta. She wanted to make sure everyone understood the necessary precautions to take during this time and how serious, even life threatening this virus can be. She even joined forces with influencers, public figures, and the Hip Hop community to help spread the word. “It’s important, obviously, to have conversations on NPR, but it’s also important to have those same conversations on Instagram and however people receive their information”. (2020 NPR)
Keisha Lance Bottoms, lastly expressed in that particular interview with Ailsa Chang, that she had no set date on when things would re-open. Instead, Mrs.Bottoms wants to wait for the facts about the virus coming to its end or even health professionals finding some sort of vaccine to help patients who are affected by the Coronavirus. In other words, she is not in any rush for things to go back to how it was, if it means putting innocent lives at risk. In April, Governor, Brian Kemp, announced that he was reopening Georgia. Places like, hair salons, clothing stores, small businesses, etc, would be open but limited to the amount of people in the area at a time. Bottoms completely disagreed with the action of the Governor, because the data did not prove that the city let alone the entire state was ready to be open. In the midst of everything, Bottoms urged the city of Atlanta to remain in quarantine and to remember the importance of social distancing.
By Georgette Smith