‘Nice job’ — Carmel Pine Cone, Dec. 25, 2020
Monterey County’s government has shut down restaurant outdoor dining due to Covid-19 concerns. Many restaurants, some which invested large amounts of money to install safe outside facilities, will now lay off more employees and struggle to stay in business. Is this draconian measure necessary to stop the spread of disease?
Actually, no. California Health Secretary Mark Ghaly now says the shutdown is not about the relative safety of outdoors dining, but instead is aimed at keeping us at home. His statement comes at about the same time that a San Diego County judge ruled that a ban on outdoors dining is “not grounded in science, evidence, or logic.” Many other retail stores remain open for inside shopping that carries a significantly greater chance of transmission. But outdoors dining needs to close to keep us at home?
This kind of misinformation has a damaging side effect. People are starting to believe the outdoors is dangerous and they must stay indoors. Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, studies have shown that the outdoors is much safer than indoors. California governments are acting to make us into hapless, and less healthy, couch potatoes. This weakens the body, immunity and mental health. Ultimately, we become more susceptible. Nice job, government.
—Thomas F. Lee, Monterey