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Madison Restaurants Do Not Deserve Special Treatment During COVID-19

July 1, 2020

A local person in the Marquette Neighborhood wrote a letter to elected officials in Madison and across Dane County, and made it public on a listserve, trying to argue the following.

The ban on even low-percentage indoor service in restaurants will strip our vibrant city of its unique culture and put many out of business and out of work.

Wow.

I responded and explained why the assertion was ridiculous.

The only way to move forward during this pandemic is to use daily tracking data and follow the professional advice from doctors and scientists. This virus has negatively impacted everyone around our nation.  From the NCAA having dreams dashed, upcoming Broadway stars not standing in the limelight, and so many who graduated from high school and college this year not being properly recognized.  It needs to be stated the restaurant industry in Madison is not any more important, or impacted to any larger degree, then countless others around the nation.

Opening restaurants, regardless of the percentage of capacity, is not the issue if there is not the belief among the citizenry that it is safe to go to such establishments.  And the fact is, it is not safe at this point with this virus.   When there are so many people walking without masks in the city, or congregating and forgoing social distancing, it raises a serious question.  If people are not mindful of their behaviors when not at work why should there be a belief they would be more respectful at their place of employment?

We all have a regard for our favorite places, be it a restaurant or a local symphony, but until the medical data and the advice from professionals allows people to feel safe with some degree of certainty in not becoming infected then it does no good to ask for restaurants to have any more capacity or privileges. 

And so it goes.

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