Empty asphalt landscapes abound in Fayetteville, Peachtree City

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Lots of available parking but little to no commercial activity in this Saturday view of the Summit Point in south Fayetteville. Photo/Ben Nelms.
Lots of available parking but little to no commercial activity in this Saturday view of the Summit Point in south Fayetteville. Photo/Ben Nelms.

It did not take an executive order from Gov. Brian Kemp or President Donald Trump over pandemic virus concerns to shut down a significant number of businesses in Fayette County. A drive through some of the retail areas in Fayetteville and Peachtree City around noon on Saturday told the tale, one full of voluntary retail and restaurant closings and vacant parking lots and fewer cars on the road

Saturday mornings customarily come with relatively high traffic volumes at Ga. highways 54 and 85 in Fayetteville and at Ga. highways 54 and 74 in Peachtree City. During the late morning to noon time hours in both cities, that was simply not the case.

<b>No shoppers at this part of Fayetteville's Pavilion. Photo/Ben Nelms.</b>
No shoppers at this part of Fayetteville’s Pavilion. Photo/Ben Nelms.

That is not to say that there was no traffic, as evidenced by the large volume of vehicles at grocery stores, Walmart and Target and home improvement stores in both cities.

Beyond those few locations, the parking lots in front of endless retail stores and restaurants were barren of nearly all vehicular presence.

The non-grocery retail areas at Summit Point and the Fayette Pavilion, and at The Avenue in Peachtree City, looked like lunar landscapes with asphalt.

<b>Even Starbucks had few vehicles in The Avenue in Peachtree City. Photo/Ben Nelms.</b>
Even Starbucks had few vehicles in The Avenue in Peachtree City. Photo/Ben Nelms.

And it was not only because people were staying home, which many obviously were. Even if some patrons wanted to shop, they could not, because many of the stores were closed, each with a sign on the door stating concerns with COVID-19 and resulting in the stores being closed until the end of March or until further notice.

Some restaurants were open, though increasing numbers of them are transitioning to drive-thru or take-out only.

With or without any mandated business closings, it was clear on Saturday that large numbers of businesses are already scaling back, or presumably only temporarily, closing their doors.

The coming days and weeks will show what the hit to businesses and to their employees will look like, especially when the time comes to pay the bills.

<b>One view of The Avenue in Peachtree City shows the lack of business being done in that usually busy spot. Photo/Ben Nelms.</b>
One view of The Avenue in Peachtree City shows the lack of business being done in that usually busy spot. Photo/Ben Nelms.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Total fatalities to date are far less than the Flu, but only because this new virus has only arrived – it’s been only two months since our first confirmed case (on January 20th, 2020). But this virus seems to be far more contagious than the ordinary flu, and as you state, it’s like the flu on steroids, and has an approximately 10X higher hospitalization rate* than the flu, and of course a significantly higher fatality rate. So if we don’t aggressively respond to reduce the spread, we will absolutely be in the same miserable boat as Italy.
    * 2019 Flu cases had an estimated 1.4% hospitalization rate per the CDC. Using China’s total COVID-19 cases as a proxy, 15% of their total cases required hospitalization.

    And finally, it’s called the coronavirus; only bigots refer to it as the Chinese virus.

    • “And finally, it’s called the coronavirus; only bigots refer to it as the Chinese virus.”

      Umm.. it’s called COVID-19, coronavirus is a family of viruses that cover a number of specific viruses (MERS, SARS, others). However, it’s not bigoted to name a disease from it’s point of origin. Heard of Ebola (named after the Ebola river), Lyme Disease (named after Lyme, CT), etc? If yould like to be more precise you can call it the Wuhan virus, but Chinese virus is certainly acceptable, given the point of origin.

        • ISTANDFORTHEFLAG and Chuck, yes, our history is replete with finger-pointing, blame, racist, and bigoted language and word use, though that does not make those terms then or now any less offensive or dangerous in their intent to identify serious, life-threatening viruses and diseases with a person or location, especially not from a nation’s top elected official. “WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he doesn’t think calling COVID-19 the “Chinese virus” — or the “kung-flu,” as one administration official reportedly called it — puts Asian Americans at risk of retaliation despite growing reports they are facing virus-related discrimination”. History does not require repetition in all things.

  2. This is something that we all do during flu season (social distancing, washing your hands, don’t go to work if sick, ect). But maybe if we did it to the extreme we are doing now, we wouldn’t have had 500,000 flu deaths worldwide and 50,000 deaths in the U.S. (and many more hospitalized) since October and mainly older people/previous health conditions people. I know younger people than elderly are also getting the Chinese Virus, but younger people also got the flu in records numbers and died.

    Did not all those people who died during flu season also need ventilators but why was there no shortage then? And the flu happens every season.

    Italy is different for this new virus. They have an older population, their social norms are to kiss and hug, they have a socialist healthcare system that limits supplies and they have a larger influx of Chinese people.

    Now with that said, we know that there is no cure for this current virus and it’s like the flu on steroids. But with the numbers showing the current infected/died, its is FAR less than what the flu is per month, and many wonder why our healthcare system is overwhelmed at this point (I know if the numbers were higher I could see that, but we are able to handle much higher flu numbers per month with older people needing ventilators)

    WE have to balance our panic with destroying the economy, lively hoods, careers, chain flow of goods and services, driving up a debt we will never able to pay, outlawing gun sales, and martial law.

    Perhaps make it mandatory to quarantine/order to stay home for older people, those with pre existing conditions, and still practice social distancing, wash your hands often.

    BTW..during the H1N1 virus (which started in Mexico) there was 11,000 deaths before this country declared a national emergency in October 2009. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that from April 12, 2009 to April 10, 2010, there were 60.8 million cases, 274,000 hospitalizations, and 12,469 deaths (0.02% case fatality rate) in the United States due to the virus.