What’s “essential” during the pandemic? Depends where you live. Here’s a by-no-means-comprehensive list of some of the outliers, courtesy of the Associated Press:
- France: Pastry, wine and cheese specialty shops. Mais oui!
- California, Illinois and Washington, among others: Medical (and sometimes recreational) marijuana in states that have legalized it.
- Connecticut, Idaho, Pennsylvania and Texas, among others: Gun shops. “If you have a breakdown in society, well then our first line to defend ourselves is ourselves, so I think having a weapon … is very important for your personal safety,” Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick told a radio interviewer.
- Israel: In a nod to the country’s vibrant religious life, people can gather for outdoor prayers—with a maximum of 10 worshipers standing 2 meters apart.
- Arizona: Golf courses, payday lenders and pawnbrokers.
- New Hampshire: Flower shops, but for a sobering reason. The governor’s spokesman Ben Vihstadt said they provide essential services for funeral homes.