I’m not confident that every bar can survive the next two weeks. It’s not fair to those that have done it responsibly, and I’m not going to pretend now that it’s fair, and I’m not going to pretend like there are some small businesses that they won’t make it through this.
Shorter Andy Beshear: Too bad, so sad, must suck to be you!
Beshear previously ordered all restaurants and bars to close to in-person traffic on March 16 in order to combat the pandemic. Restaurants were able to reopen with 33% indoor seating capacity on May 22, and bars could do so on June 29. Now, both restaurants and bars can hold an indoor capacity of 50% and unlimited outdoor seating, so long as proper social distancing is maintained.
Not any more! restaurants are now restricted to 25% of capacity, and bars must close completely. That we have allowed the state to have the authority to demand businesses to have licenses to operate means that the state has the authority to close them down, for whatever reasons the Reichsstatthalter finds appropriate. I guess that drug dealers are the ultimate libertarians: they don’t bother with business licenses.
That initial order has had Kentucky’s restaurants reeling. The Kentucky Restaurant Association previously estimated that restaurant and food service industries lost $550 million in sales in April and that 80% of the workforce has either been furloughed or laid off.
Even as restaurants received the green light to reopen, a decline in traffic because of capacity limitations and coronavirus-related fears of eating out have caused many temporary and permanent closures in the Louisville area.
There will be a lot of people who don’t really care that some businessmen have lost everything and had to close down. After all, they’re businessmen, employers, bosses, the well-to-do, right?
Well, businesses employ people — some of them, in these #BlackLivesMatter #woke days black people and women; some of those wicked businessmen are also women or minority people — and the Courier-Journal article noted that 80% of the workers have lost their jobs These are mostly low-wage jobs, with many below minimum wage as waiters who are dependent upon tips. Even those who have been lucky enough to keep their jobs are dealing with reduced tips as traffic in restaurants has been slowed.
Coronavirus is serious, but so is poverty. Unemployment means little money to pay the rent, or mortgage, to put food on the table, to pay your utility bills, just all of the things we see as necessities for life in the United States. At some point it has to be asked: is protecting people from a virus which has a low fatality rate really worth the payment of throwing thousands of people out of their homes, out onto the streets? Various government orders have prevented evictions and foreclosures for the time being, but our initial two-week shutdown has become an economic crisis that has lasted more than an entire season, and eventually landlords and mortgage-lenders will have to be paid.
If we do this right over the next two weeks, we can stabilize our numbers, if not start to see a decrease. Do we become Florida, Arizona, Texas, California? Or do we continue to be Kentucky, a state that has had an amazing response, that has come together when called and has crushed our curve thus far?
Over the next two weeks? The initial coronavirus actions were supposed to last two weeks, and we’ve seen how that has worked out. The Reichsstatthalter also said that we should expect his thirty-day mandatory mask order of July 9th, which expires on August 8th, to be renewed. The Governor’s latest series of executive orders was issued on Monday, July 27th. Two weeks from that date is August 10th, only two days after the repugnant mask order expires, yet the Governor gave no indication that a renewed mask order would be for fewer than thirty days. If the mask order is renewed on August 8th, that takes us to just two weeks before the beginning of autumn, and a full two seasons since we were first told that we needed to lock down for two weeks to ‘flatten the curve.’
It won’t be long before Reichsstatthalter Beshear issues an executive order canceling Hallowe’en and requiring Santa Claus to wear a mask when he comes down the chimney.
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