Local restaurants here were supposed to be able to open for inside sit-down service next week. Depending on the square footage, up to 50 people at a time were going to be allowed inside.
Then, suddenly, the permission was rescinded and those restaurants won’t be opening. Instead, they’ll all have to continue with carry-out and curbside service for the foreseeable future.
I for one am massively relieved. The pressure had been building with friends as we waited out the months in lockdown. We’d be first in line at our favorite restaurant when it reopened, said a few of them. We’d make advance reservations. Others wondered how many of us could sit around one table. It would be like old times, they said.
And, they insisted, we would all go. I was going to be the hold out, but they didn’t know that. They made assumptions about my participation. They didn’t suspect, because they didn’t ask, that being first into a restaurant for a sit-down meal was not something I wanted to do.
Are you in this position? As varying degrees of “open” are spreading across the country, as many types of businesses open in different ways, some of us are being coaxed (pushed?) to participate, to get out and support local businesses that have taken great financial hits during this long lockdown.
Don’t do it if you’re not comfortable. If the coronavirus numbers are still rising in your area to a degree that makes you nervous, don’t go out yet, even if the authorities say certain businesses can open. Stand your ground, strongly if you must. Your small contribution to a local restaurant or other business won’t make or break their financial situation.
You don’t need to feel responsible for their financial health ... but you do need to be responsible for your health. Don’t go out until you’re ready.