HARRISON COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - Curfews and mandatory business closures are now in effect in D’Iberville and Gulfport.
Many of those impacted businesses in D’Iberville are already closed, leaving residents curious as to how this new mandate will help. Some restaurants who now have to close outdoor patios aren’t even open for to-go orders.
Across the highway at The Promenade, most of those stores would have to adhere to less than five percent of their permitted occupancy. Those parking lots are empty because those stores have already closed.
At Walmart, six-foot spaces marked off where lines normally form inside the store. Some of their staff were also sanitizing shopping carts outside as they were gathered and once again as they moved them inside. Over at Lowe’s, staff outside sanitized shopping carts as they were collected from the parking lots. All of these precautions left one of the city’s residents perplexed as to why all of the fuss.
“I believe we’re going down a slippery slope where we’re hampering our rights, our constitutional rights. We need to be very careful how we deal with this pandemic. I believe that the people of D’Iberville and Mississippi need to be personally responsible and practice social distancing and take it upon themselves rather than rely on the government tell us what to do,” said D’Iberville resident Travis Burke.
Burke said that his chief concern was the curfew.
“I’m concerned about the curfew because how does that stop the spread of corona? Corona doesn’t come out at eleven o’clock at night and attack people. We need to be very careful about the road that we’re going down and make sure that we protect our rights as individuals and citizens," Burke said.
In Gulfport, one business started safety precautions weeks ago. Kevin Riley is the owner at Dad’s Super Pawn in Gulfport. Riley has had a tent set up in his parking lot and has been checking his customers at the door since March 22. Riley is taking this pandemic seriously. While his new setup has admittedly not made him very popular, Riley said it’s time for the people in South Mississippi to take the coronavirus seriously.
“We have been very proactive at sanitizing everything in the store and have a sanitizing station setup since the 22nd of March. I’m thrilled that they have restricted everything. I’m glad the city of Gulfport and Long Beach and all the cities are now shutting down the people that are just riding around looking for something to do," Riley said. “We all need to self-quarantine all the way around. We’re an essential business from the financial standpoint. We’re trying to make sure everybody has cash and can pay their bills, cash their checks just like the banks. We’re trying to be very proactive and keep everyone safe including our customers and staff."