Allow restaurants to continue
We are sending out a plea for change in policy regarding the closing of interior dining in full-service restaurants in Colorado Springs. Many have invested in screens to separate table and booths and did everything else to “be safe” and cannot afford to spend more on heaters, awnings, etc. to begin providing service outside. And in Colorado Springs with winter setting in, they probably won’t have many customers.
Even if they have developed a carry-out business it would not be enough to sustain them. Most of their employees will be out of work, only 2% of COVID cases came out of restaurants at any rate. I would advocate for a return to the policy prior to moving to red status. I believe just cutting off service of alcohol by 8 p.m. and allowing guests to stay only a limited time would allow restaurants to continue to operate while keeping precautionary measures in place.
In addition, if restaurants remain closed, people are likely to resort to more gatherings in their homes, being in closer quarters perhaps, as well as having to resort to purchasing more alcohol from liquor stores and consuming more at home. If restaurants were open, we could continue our traditional socializing through the holiday season, adding that stimulus to the local economy.
Janet Sawyer & Walter Gerber
How do we repeal this edict?
Most of the time I wish The Gazette was running this wonderful state! The Gazette Viewpoint’s headline on Dec. 2, “Stop the prohibition of dining in restaurants”, should be what our governor should be ordering! Since common sense is beyond him and what most of his governed want him to do, how do we incite or force this “ruler” to repeal this edict since it is negatively affecting the entire populace? We are not going to take the Ecuadorian “Kool-Aid” for this misinformed politician! Are all of our lesser government representatives intimidated?
Questioning viewpoint’s data
Editors: I am glad your viewpoint about dining in restaurants was posted under the word “OPINION” — captioned in bold letters. That is because your editorial is only that — an opinion, and a misguided one.
There is no defendable argument that being in populated, enclosed areas during COVID — does not — substantially increase the risk of exposure and contraction... especially without masking in places such as restaurants and bars. The stats you use to base your argument about opening restaurants is — at the very least — skewed. Your piece states only 51 of 35,929 people “while dining at a restaurant” have contracted COVID-19 as of Nov. 25 ... I’ve looked at your source and it’s only for El Paso County! This is the blatant use of a hypothesis that is contrary to fact — and selectively uses the number “51” as your apotheosis. In fact, as you add up those infected in restaurants — servers and staff — the number is 978. And — that’s not counting 1,986 individuals in the “Food” category — many that support restaurants indirectly .
Then there is the use of nonsequiturs to try and convince readers throughout your factless and erroneous data supported article — that dining in restaurants has minuscule risk ... much safer than being an inmate — or health care worker — or even just driving around.... Readers — go to the El Paso County Public Health Site with real stats posted.
The reality is there have been over 239,000 COVID-19 cases in Colorado’s major counties — according to the New York Times... (not just the 35,929 in El Paso County) and who knows how many of those have been due to restaurants/ indoor enclosed spaces/ or other high-risk areas throughout the state.
As a restaurant owner — I would never risk exposure to my customers or employees — even if only one person could develop serious consequences of COVID-19 — which will eventually go away with careful preventative measures and the imminent vaccines. Data and science — and safety . . . not politics.
How to protect the vulnerable
Over the past weeks and months, I’ve read a multitude of editorials and columns stating that the government is destroying our personal liberty by putting restrictions on our behavior to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus. Almost all of them say that we need to give those of us who are at risk (the elderly and those with underlying health issues) “special protection” while allowing the rest of the population to have their freedom. What I have yet to see, though, is anyone with suggestions for just how we should protect those vulnerable people.
Do we isolate them from the rest of the population? Many of these at-risk people are jobholders and can’t hole up in their homes. Many of them live with others who aren’t at risk and are working and otherwise going out into the world.
And those who do live alone and aren’t working would be put at risk of depression and anxiety and possibly even suicide if they were treated like pariahs.
The only other solution that I can see is to protect those who come into contact with vulnerable people: the members of their households; their co-workers; the people with whom they carry out their business. In other words, we all need to protect one another, regardless of one’s age or health status. And that means doing just what our elected officials have been telling us to do. Wear a mask when you’re around others in enclosed places. And keep your social gatherings small, holidays or no holidays.
Hopefully, it won’t be long before one or more coronavirus vaccines are available to the general public, and this nightmare will be behind us. In the meantime, let’s not be like the mice who had the idea of hanging a bell on the household cat but no ideas for how to get the bell onto the cat.