What will we do with the new freedom to shop and dine? – cleveland.com

Last Tuesday, with the opening of stores, Ohio officials said more than 89% of the private economy would be able to open.

On Friday, those numbers grew exponentially, as barbers and nail and hair salons could open -- along with tattoo parlors and massage therapy businesses. Restaurants and bars also could start serving -- outdoors only. (Inside dining may begin next Thursday, May 21, when campgrounds can also open - with social distancing.)

Horse racing (no spectators allowed) is coming next Friday, May 22. Gyms, fitness centers, low-contact amateur sports leagues (tennis players, get ready), swimming pools and state motor-vehicle offices can open their doors May 26.

And the big one for many parents -- child care and summer day camps -- have a reopening date of May 31.

Its an exciting new world for many Ohioans who have been marooned at home for two months, only venturing outdoors for walks or the weekly dash to the grocery store. Many people are being called back to work, too -- no doubt raising concerns among some about how well-protected they will be, especially if they have a public-facing job.

Of course, as Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said at the state coronavirus briefing Tuesday, being allowed to open is not the same as opening. He recommended people call ahead to their favorite diner or bakery or mall store or barber, to make sure theyre actually open, before they rush out to start the frenzy of consumerism Ohio no doubt hopes is in store.

And DeWine, pressed Tuesday on his and Fran DeWines dining-out plans -- while admitting hes basically a homebody -- finally acknowledged hes been hankering for his friend Woodys fried chicken at the Mel-O-Dee Restaurant over in Clark County, and that he may be making a fried-chicken run for himself and extended family. (We called Tuesday and the Mel-O-Dee was open for takeout -- check out their broaster menu - mouthwatering! https://melodeerestaurant.com/menu/broaster-foods.)

So what does our editorial board roundtable hanker for right now? Whatll be our first non-grocery-store run in this new world of a reopening Ohio -- and what precautions will we be taking, and what nagging concerns might we still have? Read on!

Ted Diadiun, columnist:

Ill not be darkening the doors of any tattoo parlors, but my wife already has an appointment with her pedicurist the moment it reopens. For me, the sign of a return to normalcy will be sitting at a tavern outdoors if I must and blowing the foam off a cold one while a good country tune plays on the jukebox.

Thomas Suddes, editorial writer:

Ive hankered for bookstores, and (when Ohios Catholic bishops allow it) the return of Mass.

Victor Ruiz, editorial board member:

By the time this publishes, I hope to have a haircut in the books. Other than that, I do not plan on getting out much. For now, remote work, weekly grocery runs, and occasional takeout from our favorite places will suffice. For those of you who venture out, please be mindful of others and put a mask on.

Lisa Garvin, editorial board member:

After reading an enlightening study about respiratory droplet spread, I probably wont be dining out or lingering in crowded spaces anytime soon. But I miss estate sales, and Im testing my comfort level by attending one this week, which involves touching other peoples stuff a lot. If the experience doesnt send me back home screaming, a haircut will be next.

Eric Foster, editorial board member:

One word: barbershop. I scheduled my appointment the day of DeWines order. Ive been looking like a 70s blaxploitation movie character since mid-March. I thought about attempting to bribe my barber into a house call, but thought the better of it. What if she refuses? Then Ill look like a you know. Plus, Im not that shallow. I can wear hats.

Mary Cay Doherty, editorial board member:

I will be combing Last Act clearance racks at Macys and enjoying meals with my family at Burntwood Tavern, Danny Boys, and, on special occasions, White Oaks. Since mid-March, I stayed in to flatten the curve. But now, its time to unflatten the economy. I will adhere to social distancing guidelines, but businesses need customers, and Im happy to oblige!

Elizabeth Sullivan, opinion director:

I admit to being sorely tempted to make the three-hour drive to the Mel-O-Dee, but the chicken would go cold before I made it home, and the old family farmhouse nine miles away (on Sullivan Road) is long gone. So, I will content myself with my very favorite small businesses closer to home -- Andys Shoes, Baschs Moment in Time, and the incomparable La Campagna - please reopen, with tables outdoors!

Have something to say about this topic?

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* Email general questions about our editorial board or comments or corrections on this editorial board roundtable to Elizabeth Sullivan, director of opinion, at esullivan@cleveland.com.

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What will we do with the new freedom to shop and dine? - cleveland.com

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