Why are restaurants the first targets when there is a COVID-19 surge?
The failure here is due to our government agencies failing to make it a requirement to wear masks in public. I am challenged for time and resources to research how to gather cash through a go-fund-me page to take full page ads in the daily newspapers in Sacramento, LA, SF, OC, and San Diego calling for our Governor and local politicians to require citizens to wear masks in public. Please hand out citations, just like parking tickets, speeding tickets, etc. We’ve all received citations and we’ve all changed our behavior.
Stop dumping the blame for the spread of this pandemic on restaurants and restaurant employees. Correct the behavior of people in public. The environment inside restaurants is in accordance with health department guidelines. You want to update the science-based guidelines? We will comply. If you discover non-compliance, then cite!
You are punishing an entire industry, most of whom are in compliance. As fewer restaurants survive, your answer is to squeeze the life out of the rest of them. Scaling back hours of operation and limiting occupancy moves us from barely surviving to losing. Thousands of jobs will be lost. Hundreds of businesses will close.
Cutting occupancy in half (outside!) is ridiculous on the face of it. It's not an order to increase the distance from 6 feet to 12 feet of separation — just cut the number of your customers in half. You think it makes it sound like you are taking decisive action to beat the virus. No. No it does not.
Same with an early curfew. This is the viewpoint of people who have 9 a.m.-5 p.m. jobs. They apparently think anybody who works another set of hours shouldn’t be allowed the same relaxing visits to restaurants that 9-5ers have; that it is not normal and that can’t be healthy.
There are a lot of people working when you are not. Some of them just prepared your food and waited on you during your relaxing evening out after your 9-5 job. Many more are working at the port and the airport, etc., getting off work at midnight, in hundreds of jobs. Not everybody is in bed by 10 p.m. Restaurants are important to these citizens and they are important to restaurants.
Please stop these arbitrary experiments with restaurant operations. You set the requirements for a healthy environment. Let us figure out how to operate and survive within the guidelines. Don’t just add arbitrary conditions on restaurants. You should tackle the problem — make people wear masks in public (thank you Dr. Fauci, and 10,000 other doctors).
Ron Hodges is the owner/operator of Shannon’s Corner downtown.