Texas Businesses Defy Coronavirus Shutdown

In Coronavirus Hoax Economic Devastation, Coronavirus Hoax Tyranny, Coronavirus Lockdown Rebellion by Darby CrashLeave a Comment

The rest of the country needs to follow their example. It’s now been proven that the whole lockdown was based on a hoax.

As Elon Musk proved today, the best way to knock down a tyrannical bully is to punch them.

Just fight back, America, it’s not the hard. And when you’re on the side of right, it’s your duty.

Excerpted from The Wall Street Journal: A Dallas beauty-salon owner was arrested last week for opening before the state lifted its shutdown, sparking national outrage. A bar and gym in Odessa opened, aided by men who drove hundreds of miles to stand outside the businesses with guns. State lawmakers near Houston defied the governor of their own party as they got illegal haircuts on camera and tweeted about it.

Across Texas—a state that has long embraced defiance as a motto, with its unofficial state slogan “Come and Take It”—business owners are pushing against the state’s coronavirus shutdown orders and its phased reopening plan.

Such defiance is increasing, drawing nationwide support from those frustrated with shutdown orders and concerned about the economic toll it is taking.

Texas has a relatively low infection and death rate for its size. In a state of 29 million people, it has seen 39,869 confirmed Covid-19 cases, and 1,100 deaths. It ranks 41st in infections per 100,000 and 42nd in terms of deaths per 100,000, according to Johns Hopkins data.

The tension in Texas comes as several states have seen protests associated with lockdown orders. States are reopening on different timelines, with little consensus.

After the pushback, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott allowed more companies to legally open.

In an executive order, the governor allowed some businesses to reopen at 25% capacity beginning May 1. Others, such as salons, gyms and bars, would stay closed, most likely until mid-May, he said. But only days after the first round of openings, he said hair salons could reopen last Friday and gyms this coming Friday, at 25% capacity. Bars must stay closed.

Candice Weeter and Ryan Logan, co-owners of Tune Up: The Manly Salon, which has dozens of locations in the Houston area, followed orders to shut down at the start of April. But when Gov. Abbott announced the state’s reopening, they grew frustrated that hair salons weren’t in the first phase. Franchisees reported being on the verge of losing their franchises and stylists told the owners they couldn’t pay rent.

They reopened their flagship location in Conroe on May 1, but closed again after “a lot of police activity,” Mr. Logan said. Then, last Tuesday, they reopened for two Republican state representatives, who requested and received haircuts at the salon as television news cameras rolled. The police didn’t bother them after that, Ms. Weeter and Mr. Logan said.

Mr. Logan and Ms. Weeter said they are doubling appointment lengths to allow for sanitizing, and are shifting to appointment-only from a salon concept that usually has crowds of customers playing shuffleboard and drinking in a bar-like atmosphere while waiting for haircuts.

Their customers said Thursday that they weren’t bothered by the salon operating illegally and were unconcerned about the virus.

“All of this has been blown out of proportion,” said Adam Frisbie, who came to get a haircut for his son, Joar.

In West Texas, Clint Gillispie allowed members back into his Odessa gym, an Anytime Fitness franchise, on May 1, keeping capacity to 25%, though gyms had been barred from opening.

“We shut down, locked the doors until April 30, but we knew that was as far as we could go, financially,” Mr. Gillispie said. “When it went beyond that, we decided it was a violation of our constitutional rights.”

Mr. Gillispie said he has received warnings from the police and citations from the fire marshal, but he has stayed open. He accepted support from a group of armed men who drove from North Texas to stand in front of the gym.

The armed men later moved from the gym across town to Big Daddy Zane’s, a bar where owner Gabrielle Ellison was serving customers. She said she had been paying her eight employees during the shutdown, but could no longer continue to do so. She is concerned about the virus, but more concerned about finances. She informed local authorities, “out of respect,” that she would be opening, she said.

“I just don’t think they have a right to tell me whether I can eat,” Ms. Ellison said.

The Ector County Sheriff’s Office responded with a SWAT team May 4 and arrested Ms. Ellison for defying a government order and six others for carrying weapons at a bar, which is a felony. Sheriff Mike Griffis said in a news conference that it is his job to enforce Mr. Abbott’s orders, adding that it is unacceptable to use weapons as a demonstration of force to violate the orders.

But Big Daddy Zane’s remains open—at 100% capacity—Ms. Ellison said Friday, after she bailed herself out of jail. Read the whole thing