Green Hope Student Takes on Reopening Indoor Dining Areas
Restaurants are a point of contention when it comes to revitalizing our stagnant economy post-quarantine. For the past seven months, we have only been able to order takeout and delivery from our favorite restaurants, but many establishments are beginning to open up their indoor dining areas for customers. This has been met with a variety of responses, some people worrying about the risks of reopening, while others are excited to finally be able to eat inside again.
Over the span of quarantine, we have gotten used to waiting approximately 15-30 minutes to eat slightly cold and soggy food. While takeout and delivery are viable options, after a while it can be unappealing. Given that, it seems like restaurants opening back up would be a positive thing. But, we are still in the midst of a pandemic, and contracting Covid-19 is a very real possibility. According to a poll on The GH Falcon Instagram page, 71% of the students who answered said that they did not think that restaurants should be opening up their dining areas already. From the open response question, it is obvious that people are still scared to be around groups of people in public places. Sid Ravi, a senior, responded, “The reality is that by opening up, we run the risk of causing more infections and disease. I am terrified about this decision, I just hope people are (being) safe.” Sid brings up a valid point here. Case numbers are still very high, and without a viable vaccine, there is a possibility that opening up restaurants could cause those numbers to shoot up.
Because of the nature of restaurants, they cannot require customers to wear masks indoors. That may deter some people, but many smaller businesses can’t afford to keep indoor dining areas closed any longer. A lot of restaurants rely on dining-in for the majority of their income, and as we have seen so far in this quarantine, a lot of smaller businesses have had to shut down for good. There are families that depend on jobs in the food industry to make a living, so, opening back up dining areas is extremely beneficial for them.
As a general consensus, most people understand the reasoning behind reopening dining areas in restaurants. But, they also believe that the benefits don’t outweigh the costs. Of course, the vast majority of restaurants are taking proper precautions to prevent the spread of Covid-19, but people are still afraid of what will happen after indoor dining areas reopen. The only thing we can do going forward is to continue to be careful. If you experience any of the symptoms of Covid-19, please do not dine inside of a restaurant. Hopefully, we will soon be back to normal, dining in at restaurants without any stress.