Thought this was VERY interesting… if you’re eating out, are you posting about it on your social accounts?
I read this through. Twice. And still do not understand why folk think it is shameful to eat out. It is, to my mind, just peculiar to feel like that. If restaurants are now able to open in a particular jurisdiction, why on earth would anyone think it wrong to be a customer. I really, really do not understand such a mentality.
FWIW, restaurants here have been able to open since the beginning of July and we restarted our weekly dining out night quickly. We didnt need the government supported discount scheme to do that - but the scheme has brought in a lot of much needed businesss and it has to be hoped it will help get folk back into the habit of eating out.
As for posting about our meals, yes, absolutely, I am. I post here. I post to Tripadvisor. And, in appropriate cases, I also send a review to the Good Food Guide which is our premier review publication. Just as I did pre-Covid. The only change I’ve made in my writing is that I am playing down any minor quibbles I might otherwise have had about a place. The last thing my local restaurants need just now is some anonymous nit-picking reviewer trashing their efforts all over Tripadvisor.
It’s a weird article, because the people quoted seem to fear being thought hypocritical. But if they’re taking appropriate precautions and following protocols, why feel guilty at all? I’m also having a tough time with the anecdote that begins the piece - how is the author “accidentally” dining out? She sat down at a restaurant table, presumably on purpose. If her intent was to eat her food slightly further away from the restaurant, that seems like a distinction without a difference.
I’ve had a few meals outdoors at restaurants in upstate New York, which I did post about on Instagram. And one indoor meal, which I was nervous about, but a) the tables were really far apart and b) it was raining. I didn’t post about that one, not out of shame, but because nothing was especially photogenic.
As a high risk couple, we’re just not ready to return to restaurant dining. This is crushing to us because we’re retired; and, pre-Pandemic, went where we wanted to go, when we wanted to go. What freedom!
That unseen threat to our health–to our lives even, is just not risk-worthy.
Thank you for posting the article @CurlzNJ. I’ve developed a regard for Eater; read many thought provoking and informative pieces there.
I admit that I did not read the entire article . . after the second and third diners were quoted about how dining out was rubbing the dangers of this virus in to those immunocompromised who had to stay at home was just too much to wrap my head around. I am awaiting back surgery and so can’t walk so well . . . but I don’t resent the folks who belong to the same arboretum as I and take weekly strolls through the gardens. And what about all the hospitality workers who have to stay home because they have no work?
And on top of that, all seemed to be referring to dining outdoors! I didn’t do much outdoor dining when it was allowed (this summer has been unusually hot and wet . . . I saw in the paper today that in all of July and August we had only four days that were considered clear). I have only dined with mom (who lives with me) and a select few family members, but tomorrow is going to be 78, sunny and low humidity, so I am meeting a few friends for an outdoor lunch tomorrow . . . and am really looking forward to our first in-person meeting of 2020!
But since indoor dining has been allowed, I’ve eaten in restaurants at least five times. I’ve never felt uncomfortable . . . the seating is well-distanced, the servers are all wearing PPE, my fellow diners and I have been very compliant regarding masks. When a table is finished, I can witness the lengths to which the staff goes to wipe down/sanitize tables, chairs, etc. There are a few funky things. Menus are largely limited and printed on paper that can be thrown out after one use. Nothing is left on the table: you request salt and pepper, ketchup, etc. . . .Some places bring you the regular containers which are sanitized when the table is cleaned after a meal, others bring the little packets (not a big fan of that). And one spot we ate had a brilliant system–they leave a stand and a card requesting a table visit; when you want a server, you put the card up so the server doesn’t have to unnecessarily “check in” on the table.
During the shut down I did my best to support my local restaurants by ordering delivery once or twice a week. But that only helps the owners, cooks and delivery staff. Dining out brings back some servers, bartenders and hosts. Besides, I enjoy having somebody bring me a nice cold draft beer, food on something other than styrofoam and cleaning up after me. And I am not ashamed of that and I do not consider myself a hypocrite!
Tricky times, especially to be “sharing” what you’re doing and thinking.
We are thinking of spending few days in North Lake Tahoe, where distancing won’t take extraordinary measures right now, but it still has me thinking on a lot of levels, in part because I can.
I’ve eaten out once since March, for my birthday, right after places in Napa opened briefly. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I don’t think my server was NEARLY as happy about the re-opening as I was.
We’re going in the opposite direction of many. Note our choices are unlikely to have much economic impact as we have had take-out only seven times since February and only ate out about once a month pre-CV-19. We like our own cooking better.
I’m following research on CV-19 through pre-print servers, not mass media. Outdoors is not safe. Tents are not outdoors. It’s Russian roulette and you’re playing with your life and those you are in contact with.
Just how is “we expected an increase in infections as the economy reopens” supposed to reduce the risk? Just because something is allowed doesn’t mean it is smart.
As the economy does open up we continue to rely on curbside pickup. We write letters to the businesses most important to us (grocery, pharmacy, hardware, chandlery) to thank them for their continuing support to those of us exhibiting an abundance of caution. As restaurants have opened our options have declined as I won’t walk through a crowd of unmasked diners to pick up an order. I don’t really want my food cooked by people exposed to those sorts of crowds. Yes, yes, I know - no indications at all of any transmission through prepared food. Still skeeves me out.
What really irritates me (I was going to use another less pleasant word - use your imagination) is the growing number of people who say they are being careful but simply aren’t. We have an extended family member who insists she is careful but goes to church twice a week, attends vestry meetings, participates in a neighborhood Mahjong club, chats with neighbors on the street with no masks, and whose husband is back to attending car shows. She gets offended when we and my SIL’s family refuse to participate in her backyard family gatherings.
“Allowed” is not equal to “smart.”
CV-19 is like an STD. When you sleep with someone you sleep with everyone they have slept with. When you dine out, you are dining out with everyone in the room AND with everyone they have associated with.
Just to reiterate for clarity, sitting in a plastic chair under a tent in a parking lot is not outdoors. It’s just unpleasant indoor dining.
We’re continuing to live in a two family bubble. My wife and I (and a cat) and my SIL, her husband, and two kids (and a cat). My SIL and I are the arbiters of “safe enough.” When I have a trip I have to take I come home to a hard quarantine (live in the basement, food transfer separated by time and space) for 14 days. Twice a day temperature checks are part of our routine - we have a substantial baseline.
sigh Okay. Rant over. For now. grin
Can we get you on tv with Dr. Fauci??
Seriously; this is all intelligently written AND sensible, and I, for one appreciate it. I think I mentioned this in a thread on the NJ board; last weekend, my (just about to be) 19 year-old niece and her friend (19) were in town (I live on the Jersey shore). They wanted to eat out one night, I said I wasn’t going out to eat (outdoors), but they should enjoy. The next morning I asked how it was (I knew they had eaten well)…their response? “Umm…it was uncomfortably busy. Too many people and some of the people who were walking around (the street is closed off) didn’t have masks on!” I have a glimmer of hope for the next generation.
I’ll take his calls. grin Happy for a video call or interview. NO ZOOM. Zoom is the cybersecurity version of CV-19. WebEx, Teams, Hangouts/Meets is fine. Facetime, Messenger, Signal, Viber. No Zoom. We bought a tablet dedicated to Zoom for my wife’s work. Not connected in any way to our home office network. Not okay.
Hmm. Seems there was another rant boiling under the surface. grin