ENC reacts to closure of more businesses over COVID-19

JACKSONVILLE, NC (WITN) Governor Cooper’s latest executive order responding to the coronavirus is closing more businesses.

Gyms, hair salons, nail salons and theaters are on that list and must close by 5:00 p.m. Wednesday.

Gym goer William Egelston says, “I didn’t think I’d ever live through a time like this where everything got shut down, and it’s basically everybody stay at home and don’t move. It may be a good precaution just because a lot of people come to the gym and they get complacent, so people may not wipe down their machines after they sweat on it.”

Another business that, by nature requires person-to-person contact, is hair styling. Hair salons, barbershops, nail salons, and massage therapy businesses will also close.

Hairdresser Sharlene Grant says, “In this field people are always going to get their hair done no matter what, so now it’s just about where we’re gonna do it, are we going to take house calls?”

Some services can be done at home for the sake of getting paid, but grant says that ushers in a whole new set of questions. “You don’t know how people care for their houses. Here, we can control that. So, it’s one of those things you’ve got to think and pray about.”

For those who rely on these businesses to be a part of everyday life, they wonder when things will get back to normal.

Gym manager Kerry Johnsen says, “Devastating sounds extreme but it really is. This is home away from home for me. Even though we knew it was coming eventually, very sad. It’s family, it’s friends, so losing that part of you is really sad, but we’ll get through this together.”

Sweepstakes parlors will close at 5:00 p.m. Wednesday evening.