Mecca of Suburban Culture


Shopping mall before the pandemic, not the ideal place to be Source: Jahi Chikwendiu, The Washington Post via Getty Images

The names Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Ferragamo, Bulgari, and other luxury brands lined the endless rows of our modern-day bazaars. Classic boutiques, movie theatres, and food stands delighted our senses for any after school or weekend adventure. In the 1980s and 1990s, the shopping mall represented a cultural paradise where teenagers could scour the social scene with a viable pretense of “shopping” that brought out legendary clothing trends, hairstyles, and colloquial expressions that permeate our lexicon still today.


With the advent of online shopping and megastores such as Amazon and Walmart, the cultural aspects of the shopping malls have withered away along with its margins for profit and relevance. But ever since the coronavirus has surged, it has closed down most places where teenagers can feel safe to “hang out.” But, recently, there has been an uptick in outdoor malls such as Avalon and the Collections.


I say indoor shopping malls could be safe if proper safety precautions are in place and strictly enforced. I would hate to see my favorite shopping close, leaving thousands of people without a local shopping mall. But without the proper sanitation and precautions, shopping malls might become a remnant of the past.


The opportunity to go to the shopping mall should not be taken for granted. To make sure shopping malls do not close again, people should keep up with the mandates to keep the overall community safe, not just the shopping malls.


Most citizens of Georgia do wear masks and keep up with proper sanitation but, even with few individuals not following mandates, people can be in serious danger.


“Moderately crowded bar or restaurant would be cause for concern.” This was well stated by the director of the Yale Institute for Global Health and a professor of infectious diseases at the Yale School of Medicine,Dr. Saad Omer. He is directly talking about how even moderately crowded places can be a dangerous place.


During this pandemic, going to the shopping mall would not be an immediate way to get sick. Without the precautions heavily enforced, it would be an imminent risk.


It is also important to note that 32% of people felt unsafe while visiting shopping malls. This means that a good proportion of customers do not feel safe yet. For malls to be considered “safe”, this number should be closer to zero.


Shoppers and employees should work together to make shopping an enjoyable experience. Although it is recommended that people only should shop for essential goods, people can go out shopping for recreational purposes if the shopping center follows through with safety guidelines and the shopper follows the mandates.


I believe shopping malls should try to fix the fear of going shopping rather than trying to amass profit. It is important to create a safe environment for people. Danger is based on fear and if that fear is eliminated, I think people would find shopping less of a health hazard and bring shopping back to its original state. A clear revival can and must happen to save our cultural icons. Teenagers need places to “experiment” and venture. Where would teenage angst and awkwardness be conquered, if not, the safe environment of local malls?