Gov. Brian Kemp’s extension of COVID-19 restrictions is hollow and of little consequence. 

His gutted restrictions are meaningless unless enforced. 

Going on another two weeks with unenforced minimal restrictions will not change the course of this virus. 

The best protection for all of us is to wear masks and to socially distance but Kemp refuses to issue a mask requirement and will not enforce restrictions on large gatherings.

So, what’s the point? 

His extension is a token gesture. 

The order is now set to expire Oct. 31. 

It offers some moderate restrictions for visiting senior care facilities that have already been in place. 

It continues guidelines for restaurants and bars with few restrictions.

It extends the supposed ban on gatherings of 50 people or more but that restriction has long been a joke across Georgia.  

The state has not enforced it, and leaders have even flaunted large gatherings not the least of which are political rallies, including President Donald Trump’s rally Friday at the airport in Macon.

Kemp’s extension does authorize Georgia cities and counties to pass face covering requirements but while some local governments have issued those orders, enforcement appears to be nonexistent. 

People are still getting infected. 

People are still being hospitalized.

People are still dying. 

The numbers of hospitalizations and deaths slowly began to decline across the state and that is very good news, but across the nation numbers are climbing and climbing fast.  

Our worst fears are that as we head toward colder weather, a surge in Georgia is not far off. A second wave could be worse than ever and so much of it could be avoided if we all did the right things. 

Face coverings work. 

Social distancing works. 

Toothless, unenforced guidelines serve no purpose. 

We encourage all of you to do the right things, the responsible things and wear masks, avoid gatherings, socially distance and wash your hands frequently. 

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