Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Erie Times E-Edition Article-Restaurant trade needs virus relief

Posted by M. C. on August 9, 2020

Congress hasn’t helped the COVID situation so far, don’t expect anything different it in the future.

Why don’t we hear anything about prevention? Is it because there is…

No power over the unwashed masses.

No money for vaccine salespersons.

No excuse for tagging, tattooing, tracking, going cashless.

Instead of spending money to look like it is doing something constructive, government should let the unwashed masses do something for themselves. And get this!!! Encourage healthy diets and healthy immune systems.

What! You never heard this advice from the government and medical community? Neither has anyone else.

The government must spend your money, it is the only thing it is good at. If it must spend, then spend it on healthy diets for homes and restaurants.

And for desert include vitamins C, D and zinc. That alone might accomplish more than has been done since this thing stated.

That and government just leaving us alone in general. The reason the business failures described below occurred is NOT because government didn’t shell out enough money. It is because government and it’s minions control the narrative. Government doesn’t allow the public and businesses to decide for themselves what is best in their best interest.

Free market decisions work. Smoke free restaurants comes to mind. Business was 90% to where we are now when PA government passed laws and took all the credit.

Government doesn’t want you to think you are capable of controlling your own life. Government fears for its own life if it let you control yours.

Governments not being in the bio/chemical weapon research business would be a big help also. Sadly that horse is already out of the barn.

The issue: Pandemic crushing restaurants Our view: Congress must deliver relief

Erie’s beloved Serafini’s restaurant opted to close in March and wait out the COVID-19 storm. Others pivoted to take-out and now juggle the changing, challenging state mandates.

Some, like the storied Chovy’s in Meadville, closed for good.

If restaurants and bars in Erie and nationwide don’t get help soon, more will disappear.

Erie restaurants, not cookie-cutter, reflect the city’s ethnic heritage and ground its authenticity. We celebrate our milestones there, catch up with friends and escape from our own kitchens.

Not a frivolous nicety, they play a central role in the tourist trade that added $1 billion to the local economy in 2018.

Southwestern Pennsylvania restaurant owners, crippled by recent state restrictions that limited restaurants to 25% indoor capacity and closed taverns that don’t offer meals, rallied Thursday in Pittsburgh.

They urged a return to 100% indoor capacity with social distancing measures in place.

Their pain is crushing and real. But Gov.

Tom Wolf tightened restrictions because evidence indicated young people gathering in restaurants and bars were helping to drive the new wave of cases. And with those mitigations — which align with current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for Pennsylvania — numbers are leveling off, Wolf’s administration notes.

Were careless bar owners to blame for the spike in cases? Likely. But this virus has a pernicious ability to spread when given the right conditions, especially where people gather closely together.

If health experts find restrictions can be safely tweaked, they should be. But returning to normal capacity, even with distancing measures, might pose too much risk at this crucial time when cases in the South and Midwest are on the rise. The sooner we control the virus, the sooner we recover the economy.

A tailored approach seems ill-advised.

Rural areas have fewer cases. They also have less capacity to respond to an outbreak.

Outdoor dining is helping some establishments survive, but winter is coming and so must government relief, now.

One measure on the table, the Restaurants Act, has bipartisan support in Congress. It would offer $120 billion to restaurants, bars, food trucks and more. Grants would cover lost 2020 revenues and could be spent on payroll, benefits, rent, mortgages, protective equipment and supplies. More solutions might be fashioned at the state level, as well.

Some COVID-19 relief legislation rushed through Congress previously did not reach those most in need and lacked adequate transparency. Make sure legislation to support the restaurant trade does not repeat those mistakes and get it out the door.

Our restaurant and tavern owners face uncertainty and loss through no fault of their own. Their pain and sacrifice protect the health of others. Remember the flavor, delight and society they add to our lives.

Don’t leave them hanging.

Be seeing you

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