Open the Restaurants!

The decision to close small businesses has done more harm than good


Diners enjoy their meals outdoors in Pasadena.

Rafayel Hovhannisyan, Staff Writer

As the number of coronavirus cases have soared, more businesses have been ordered to shut down or make their operations safer for the public. One of the biggest industries to take a hit from these new regulations is privately-owned restaurants. As of May 2020, all restaurants in the State of California were ordered to discontinue their indoor dining. One thing to understand about this is that privately-owned restaurants do not have representation in the government, unlike corporations such as McDonald’s. Therefore, while the corporate restaurants are surviving through these times, this cannot be said for the privately-owned restaurants. 

John Terzian, a recent guest on Joe Rogan’s podcast, is an owner of multiple nightclubs and restaurants. He seems to think that the shutting down of restaurants is irrational. He makes a point that it would be safer for restaurants to be open, because they follow regulations that would make dining safer during these times. He states that closing indoor dining at restaurants has not slowed down the increase rate of the coronavirus. People still eat outside and gather in larger groups that could’ve been controlled if restaurants were allowed to seat them. 

Besides this, there are some contradictions in what the local government chooses to keep open or close down. For example, shopping malls (like our very own Glendale Galleria and Americana) are still open. Now think about this logically. Is it safer to keep malls open, but restaurants should be kept closed? There is no explanation as to why this makes sense, except for purely financial reasons. 

Airports are also a contradiction. First off, all airports should be closed until this pandemic is over, and travel should be restricted temporarily in order to contain the spread, but for some reason that is not happening. Another problem is that if you go to any airport, you will see people brushing past each other and eating with their masks off. This is not safe and is undoubtedly contributing to the spread. 

Grocery stores are also jam-packed with people, and it doesn’t matter if you’re wearing masks when there is a crowd of people around you. Any crowded space, will leave you prone to getting the coronavirus, and a mask may not be enough to protect you. 

We’ve seen that the local government does not care about these restrictions, whether it was Governor Newsom having dinner at his winery or Shelia Kuehl, who shut down restaurants and that same day went to dine in Santa Monica.

It is obvious at this point that the governor and public health employees are not assessing the situation fairly, but they are instead trying to achieve economic and political gains. This just goes to show that we, as citizens, need to pay more attention to local and state politics than we do to the national level, because state governments have proven to have more power during this pandemic than The White House.