Macon’s view on mask mandates


Patrons dine outdoors at the Barefoot Tavern in downtown Macon. Photo by Daniel Shumake

If Macon were to fully open their downtown, how would those living in Macon feel?

With places like Texas and Mississippi lifting lockdown and opening restaurants at full capacity, other regions in the United States are following suit. 

Brandon Paxton, a Mercer junior and Macon native, is all for the reopening of downtown Macon. 

“I am most excited for the local business owners who have suffered tremendously over the past year…I am very excited for them to be able to return to their full capacity and be able to once again operate at their maximum profitability potential,” Paxton said.

Not everyone is as eager as Paxton, however. Macon still needs some time according to Tina Hunt, who works at the William Augustus Bootle Federal Building. 

“We know that there are other variants (of COVID-19) here. While the vaccinations have picked up, they’re not nearly where they should be. I don’t think it’s time yet,” Hunt said.

Her sentiment is shared by Eddie Jordan, an elder gentleman who is wary of opening Macon back up because of the consistent threat COVID-19 poses. 

“When the pandemic is gone, that’s one thing. To open it up, and re-do the same thing, I disagree with. We went through a whole year of that already,” Jordan said. 

Out of the people interviewed in the streets of downtown Macon, most had their concerns about the safeness of fully returning to normalcy. Madeleine Phipps, of Porterdale, GA, is one of those with concerns. 

“At a certain time when everyone is vaccinated, I’ll still wear my mask,” Phipps said.