Those in the beauty industry – barbershops, hair and nail salon and spas – have all taken a massive hit during the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic. They have been deemed "non-essential" from the beginning. In some states, it will be another four to six weeks before these businesses are able to reopen. In other states, like California, they are closed with no reopening date in sight.
Critics, especially rich critics on the left, want beauty professionals to stay home. Taurean Overall, the owner of three successful Blessed Up Barber Shops in Atlanta, said what's being asked of them is unrealistic and unfeasible. He is, however, thankful that Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) has decided to reopen the economy and allowed these so-called "non-essential businesses" to reopen.
"What do you say to all the folks out there who think this is so dangerous, you are putting people’s lives, you know, in jeopardy?" Fox News' Laura Ingraham asked. "Al Sharpton today said that what you’re actually doing is bad."
She then played a clip of Rev. Al Sharpton on MSNBC.
"I don’t know any barber in Georgia that has 6-foot long arms. How are you going to have social distancing in a barbershop or in a beauty parlor?" Sharpton said. "I mean, let’s be serious. You are really telling people, put yourself in danger. For what reason, I cannot imagine."
Overall smirked when he heard the comments.
"Rev. Al, you might have a couple million dollars in the bank. Us non-essential owners do not," the barbershop owner said. "The only thing we can speak from is our perspective. For the last two months – I speak for myself – I had no income for the last two months. I own three barbershops, I also cut hair myself, and us being out of work is no money coming in at all. In the last few months, I have spent over $20,000 in rent, in mortgages, you know, stuff like that. I applied for the SBAs, applied for the unemployment. I haven’t even received the stimulus."
"So my question to people out there: what should we do? Should we just sit back and wait for the government to bail us out, or take advantage of the opportunity we have them be as safe as possible and still, you know, make as much money as we can and play it safe?" Overall asked.
His three barbershops are taking extra safety precautions, like requiring customers to sanitize their hands, spray down in Lysol and wear disposable gloves and ponchos. Employees are wearing masks.
Ingraham played a clip from a New York Times reporter who suggested that allowing economies to freely reopen would put us back to square one in the pandemic.
Overall, again, asked how businesses that are deemed "non-essential" should maneuver this crisis when they're being asked to stay home.
"If you don’t want us to work, find a way to make an extra stimulus package or some kind of funds for us non-essential workers to save our homes, to save our cars from being repoed, to save from being evicted, to save our businesses," the barbershop owner said. "I’ve busted my butt for the last six years building a franchise from the ground up and what people are telling me [to do is] to sit at home and wait, for something no one has an answer to, save me."
Overall said he would rather reopen, take the opportunity to be as safe as possible while having faith in God to provide.
"The key is to be as safe as possible. It’s no different than coming into the barbershop as a person going to the grocery store. And touching that bag of chips. Who knows who touched that bag of chips before you did," he explained. "When you come into a barbershop, I know who sat in my chair so I’m going to wipe it down. I know who’s touching my door handle so I’m going to wipe it down."
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