The Magic of Outdoor Dining

Folks, no one that I have encountered has ever given me a scientific explanation as to why prohibited indoor activities that are moved outside are magically blessed and good in the era of arbitrary Covid-19 rules. This includes church, haircuts, sit-down dining, fitness centers, and so on.

While I’m sure you can sense my disdain and loathing of such tyranny, I would like to set my political views and emotions aside and just comment on outdoor dining. In the last few days, I have had lunch at three different local restaurants. Of the three places, two are national chains and the other a mom and pop Mexican place. All three failed in fundamental rules issued by Governor Newsom as a conditions of their continued operation.

The mom and pop place no longer gives customers disposable paper menus but their regular ones which are paper inserted into place folders. I don’t recall this being allowed again and I also got no assurance from the restaurant that these things are scrubbed between uses. They have however put a plastic sheet on top of the wrought iron patio furniture table they are using for outdoor service. At least this way the table can be wiped between customers.

In contrast, both national chains that I have visited in the last few days also have wrought iron furniture for outdoor service; however, they don’t clean anything in the customer seating areas. And they don’t cover the tables. Yep, just like normal, one person eats their meal and then the next customer comes along and sits in the very same place with no effort at sanitation. Neither place allows indoor seating and expects customers to eat outside or get food to go. Both places require that I wear a facemask in their business but neither actually takes any meaningful steps to protect their customers from germs.

What prompted me to write about this today was the table of four eating at the national chain with their baby crawling all over the table. When they were ready to leave, the mother told one of the other adults in her party that she couldn’t lift her child off the table because she had catsup on her fingers. So, catsup on your fingers is a problem but letting your infant crawl all over a table that never gets cleaned unless it happens to rain or get blasted by an errant sprinkler is ok? In what universe? Oh, did I say baby was only wearing a diaper? (Said diaper looked like it was full.) How does this make any sense or keep anyone safe from Covid-19?

Folks, the irony is that if these same customers were eating indoors at these establishments, then the tables would get bussed between customers. Thus, it is more sanitary when indoor eating is allowed and more unsanitary when outdoor eating is mandated. Also, said restaurants have more staff when regularly operating.

In my mind, this just further illustrates the absurdity of living in a place governed by fear. Again, I affix much of the blame for this on feckless clergy who fear men more than God and capitulated on following biblical principles. Keeping the 501 (c) (3) is more important. The ghost of L.B.J. looms much larger on this country than just the Great Society and Vietnam War.

Anyway, I hope you think about what I’ve said next time you decide to eat out for lunch or give the wife a night off and let someone else do the cooking.