Eater - In all but a handful of states, it is now legal or will soon be legal to once again operate dine-in services at restaurants. Of states that have allowed that, many require restaurants to operate at a limited capacity or only allow outdoor dining, but by the end of May, it is likely that eating at a restaurant will once again be available to much of the country. And what’s more, that official encouragement has led to a general “fuck it” attitude. The Washington Post reports that in Avalon, a wealthy development of restaurants and stores in Georgia, people are thrilled to be dining out again without masks. “The wineries are opening this weekend for indoor service and we’re going there tomorrow,” crowed one retiree a few weeks ago. “I can’t wait!”
These reopenings are based on the acceptance of unnecessary sickness and death. An internal report from the Trump administration, which is pressuring states to “reopen” businesses, projects a steady rise in the death toll from COVID-19, resulting in 3,000 deaths a day by June 1. In a leaked phone call, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who recently allowed restaurants to reopen their dining rooms, admitted “the fact of the matter is pretty much every scientific and medical report shows that when you have a reopening... it actually will lead to an increase and spread” of the new coronavirus.
Abbott was correct. Cases are climbing in most states that have allowed for reopening. In Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp has come under fire for releasing misleading data, and we ultimately won’t know for weeks about spread. Countless studies and reports from medical institutes and experts say it’s too soon, that reopened business and a rise in mobility will undo the already meager progress we’ve made in flattening the curve of the pandemic. Dr. Anthony Fauci warns of “needless suffering and death.” And yet, the government on both the local and federal levels insist this is the only way; people need to work, they say, the economy needs to keep moving, and everyone needs to feel a sense of normalcy.
The hospitality industry was dealt a deathblow back in March. Coming off one of the worst Q1's in the last ten years, being force to shut down due to the Covid spread was the nail in the coffin for many restaurants, bars, and similar small businesses. Some were able to pivot, and transition to take-out and delivery models. Others were not and had to wait out these last 90 days to be given the green light again.
Now that it looks like