A stretch of Interstate 40, which runs from downtown Memphis across the Mississippi River into Arkansas, has come to illustrate the patchwork of rules restricting movement in the United States. On the Arkansas side of the river, where the governor has resisted a statewide mandate, some “nonessential” businesses remain open. On the Tennessee side, a stay-at-home order went into effect this week, closing stores.
Now, the owner of a chain of clothing stores called Deep South located on both sides of the Mississippi is operating under two different sets of rules. The company’s owner, Munther Awad, a 47-year-old immigrant from the Middle East, said he owned two stores in Arkansas, which are open, one in West Memphis and another in Little Rock. And he owns a third store in Memphis, which is now closed because of a local mandate last week.
“I feel like if you would have just went ahead and put the whole nation at the same time on a lockdown, we could have got some control over it,” said Lavanda Mayfield, 33, who was waiting to serve takeout to customers at the Iron Skillet restaurant at a truck stop near I-40 in West Memphis on Friday.
“But now it’s just out of control,” she said, “because you did state-to-state.”
For a small number of states in the South and Midwest, pressure is growing for governors to issue stay-at-home orders. “What are you waiting for?” said Gov. Gavin Newsom of California, who issued the first statewide order last month. https://t.co/mUoN83OWyr
— NYT National News (@NYTNational) April 4, 2020