Wednesday, November 11, 2020

COVID follies

In Illinois’s Region 6, things are bad. And yet.

Today Elaine saw a Facebook ad for a nearby restaurant’s Thanksgiving buffet. An indoor buffet, $25 per person, $12.50 per “kid,” $62.99 for a family of four. If ever there could be a buffet worth risking one’s life for, it wouldn’t be this one: ham, turkey, fried chicken (choose one), mashed potatoes, noodles, gravy, green beans, dressing, rolls, pumpkin pie. What, no cranberry sauce?

The mitigation measures for our region of the state include no indoor dining at restaurants. Outdoor tables must be at least six feet apart. So how can this restaurant be offering an indoor buffet? Because we have county sheriffs who have proudly announced that they will not enforce COVID restrictions. These sheriffs see themselves as standing up to J.B. Pritzker, our (Democratic) governor, who cannot be allowed to take away our freedoms, &c.

Comments on the Facebook ad run mostly along those lines. I’ll reproduce a couple as typed:

I hope you’re going to be open for thanksgiving it’s a virus or the government don’t shut you down

just please dont close or go to carry out only! We need to have strong businesses! Not cowl down to the govt!! You guys stand strong and stay open!
One comment describes calling the restaurant and being told that employees don’t wear masks and that there’s no social distancing. And they’re planning a buffet? It’s a recipe (sorry) for disaster.

On terse comment caught Elaine’s eye: “On my bucket list.”

Elaine’s reply, surprisingly, stands, at least for now:
Isn’t the bucket list a list of things you want to do before you die? An unmasked Thanksgiving COVID hotspot might do the trick for a lot of people. Take-out food tastes just as good as in-restaurant food.
The best way to support a restaurant in the COVID era: order takeout directly from the restaurant. Pay in cash and tip generously. We’ve been doing just that with our favorite restaurant since mid-March. But we’ll be making our own Thanksgiving dinner, which will be a safer and tastier choice than that buffet. And we’ll have cranberry sauce. Also sweet potatoes.

[About those sheriffs: Yes, Illinois is a blue state. But move away from a handful of metropolitan areas, and it’s a sea of red.]

comments: 2

Anonymous said...

Just think -- the Thanksgiving feast that keeps on giving forever and ever.

Especially after I saw this today:

from the abstract: "Our model predicts that a small minority of “superspreader” POIs account for a large majority of infections and that restricting maximum occupancy at each POI is more effective than uniformly reducing mobility.”

Along with this interesting one about mental issues afterwards:


ps I'll be cooking at home as usual!

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks for those links, Kirsten. I noticed in the first article this observation about Chicago: “Reopening full-service restaurants was particularly risky.” I know I’ve read that eating in a restaurant is one of the common markers for people who have the virus. The second article gives me new reason to feel furious about the mindset here that as long as someone doesn’t die from the virus, everything’s fine.