Wednesday, October 20

There is no table for so many people: it is the restaurant crisis

There is no table for so many people: it is the restaurant crisis

Businesses feel the impact of the pandemic.

Photo: Edwin Martínez / Impremedia

It is true that we need to be patient and abide by the measures to contain the Covid-19 that has already infected more than 16 million and took the lives of almost 400 thousand people in the United States alone.

But it seems that not only the virus is attacking minorities such as Hispanics, because the measures to curb the pandemic are also more severe and harmful for small entrepreneurs such as restaurant owners.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo believe that banning diners from New York restaurants would help contain the pandemic; while forgetting that eating out was fun in the summer, but with the cold winter temperatures, who likes frozen food?

And although, fortunately, the shopping centers and department stores of big brands can open this holiday season, restaurant owners have to manage to offer hot food, keep customers, pay rent and payroll, among others.

We support decisions to end this health crisis, but it doesn’t make sense that restaurant owners, many of them Hispanic, who have struggled to survive in the Big Apple for years, now have to turn away their customers.

It is inexplicable that such a radical measure is required at a time when we all hope to survive and when, according to contact tracing, infections in restaurants are only 1.4%, while meetings in homes would be the culprit in 74% of cases.

It is not easy to control a virus as deadly and treacherous as covid-19, it sticks because it sticks: in the air, on the street, with the things we touch and even by shaking hands in a cordial greeting.

But if the authorities feel they cannot control the virus, it is also not fair that they shift the responsibility onto the shoulders of these merchants.

The National Restaurants Association shouted to the sky and complained arguing that some 11,000 businesses have already closed permanently due to the pandemic that took them out of combat in this 2020.

And like warriors in the middle of a battle, restaurateurs do everything they are required to do to stay in business: they lowered their clientele to 25% while they increased expenses to be able to serve with tables outside their premises, trying to avoid sending their customers to the street. employees. What else do you want!

(The author – who uses a pseudonym – is a journalist based in New York)

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