- Shopping malls in several states have begun to reopen amid the coronavirus crisis
- However, photos taken inside malls in Florida, Georgia and Texas reveal that shoppers are still staying away
- Empty parking lots, shuttered play areas and abandoned food courts were common themes inside each of the malls
- Fear of contracting COVID-19 coupled with soaring unemployment figures are stopping many people from heading to the shops
Many American states have begun to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic, but shopping malls all across the country still resemble ghost towns.
Known for being thriving social hubs and a key part of the American economy, dozens of malls remained abandoned this week, despite opening back up for businesses.
While both President Donald Trump and state governors have been talking about the importance of reopening the economy, it seems many are still fearful of heading out to shop.
As of Friday afternoon, more than 1.3 million Americans have tested positive to COVID-19, and 78,318 have died.
Anxiety about the virus is coupled with soaring unemployment numbers, with many people now without the disposable income required to shop at the mall.
The unemployment rate currently stands at 14.7 percent, the worst since the Depression era. More than 20 million people lost their jobs in the month of April alone.
Larry Kudlow, the White House’s national economic council director, on Friday even suggested employment figures could get worse as the pandemic wears on.
‘I don’t think this pandemic contraction has yet fully run its course,’ he stated. ‘This is a number full of heartbreak and hardship. There’s no way to get around it.’
Americans remain wary of the coronavirus’s threat, and are worried about going back to work too soon. But that doesn’t mean they’re not hurting.
Two months after the coronavirus shuttered much of the United States economy, the outbreak’s impact — on jobs, health care, food access and much more — is growing only more severe, according to a growing body of polling and social science data.
But here’s what else the polls are telling us: Americans are generally uninterested in returning to normal, and they tend to believe federal health experts, who continue to warn against a swift reopening of the economy.
But more than two-thirds of respondents said in a Pew Research Center poll out Thursday that they were more concerned that state governments would reopen their economies too quickly than that they might take too long — roughly on par with past responses to the same question.
And in a survey released late last month by The Associated Press and NORC, 68 percent of Americans said they had a great deal of trust in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide them with reliable information about the pandemic. That’s three times as much as the dismal 23 percent who said they definitely trusted Mr. Trump’s statements on the virus.