A shipment of new Air Jordans draws crowds to Atlanta mall for shoppers willing to take virus risk

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Possible reactions one can have after seeing videos of crowds lined up tightly outside a newly reopened Atlanta Mall — many without any mask or face covering —  waiting for a chance to buy a pair of the new Air Jordan 5 “Fire Red” sneakers which are already sold out in online stores:

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  1. In what possible world is it worth risking one’s health — and potentially one’s life — in order to spend an outrageous sum of money on the newest sneaker?
  2. Do these people realize that they are violating social distancing guidelines?
  3. Are they out of their minds?
  4. How dumb do you have to be to be willing to do this?
  5. Do they realize that they are also endangering the health of others, as well as their own?
  6. WTF!?!?!?

Any of those reactions would be more reasonable than the behavior shown in the videos posted to Twitter by an NBC News producer in Atlanta, Charlie Gile.

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It wasn’t just the inside of the mall that was inundated with people falling to keep the recommended 6 feet of distance between individuals.

The people waiting on line outside the mall were equally guilty of ignoring socially responsible behavior.

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All of this dangerous congregating was the result of Georgia Governor Brian Kemp’s much-criticized decision to reopen his state for business before meeting the guidelines provided by medical experts regarding when it could be done without risking a new resurgence of COVID-19 cases and fatalities.

Even Donald Trump broke ranks of Republican solidarity to criticize Kemp for his decision to reopen even high contact businesses like hair and nail salons and tattoo and massage parlors before anyone else would consider taking such risky action.

Ironically, Atlanta is the headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the federal agency that issues the health guidelines for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

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Those fanatic collectors of high-priced limited-edition athletic shoes should check the Georgia Department of health statistics in two to three weeks. If the crowds at the mall are any indication, chances are good that there will be some newly purchased Air Jordan 5 “Fire Red” sneakers available from the recently deceased on eBay and Facebook marketplaces as well as on collector web sites.

It’s a sad vision of the future, but unfortunately not an unlikely scenario.

Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.

Original reporting by Christopher Buchanan at WXIA-TV.

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Vinnie Longobardo

Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile, & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.

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