I am writing to express my disappointment in the county’s decision to force restaurants to limit themselves to 25% capacity.
Articles in this very publication have mentioned that a lot of the outbreaks in the county are originating in private gatherings and house parties. Now, with the new restaurant restrictions, we are taking away a safer option for people to congregate.
Restaurant workers have been enforcing social distancing and mask rules all summer and fall. Why would you want to limit access to a controlled, sanitized environment that is being run by a staff that has been abiding by these rules since we reopened at the beginning of the summer? Now that they can’t go to bars and restaurants, more people will get together at home with no restrictions or guidance. The new guidelines also state that there are no restrictions on lodging. So, we are encouraging people to come here to stay, but we can’t offer them anywhere to eat. That makes no sense.
I would also like to point out that if the town of Vail was so concerned about this situation spiking, why did they hold a giant all-day Halloween party in both villages with no supervision or rule enforcement of any kind? There was nobody in town educating people to the rules or promoting social distancing or mask wearing. As a matter of fact, besides a few signs, there is never any enforcement of these rules, except for the businesses when they have to monitor what happens inside their walls. And now, the county decides to punish the local businesses who were the only ones actually enforcing the rules in the first place.
The county is trying to solve the problem with a solution that doesn’t address where the problem actually lies. The newspaper should have the mandatory mask rule on the front page every day until it is lifted. It shouldn’t be the responsibility of the locals to educate the tourists who come to town. There are a lot of people who come here that are adamantly anti-mask who can’t wait to have that argument with people. I deal with it several times a day. The lack of policing and enforcement of these rules by the town and the county puts a lot of us in potentially dangerous situations. We did not volunteer to be local police. We are just trying to work our jobs.
Solving this problem starts with individuals. We all need to do our part. Wear your mask. Don’t throw parties. Chill out at home alone when you can. If we don’t do these things, this will never end. A little sacrifice now will help us flourish in the future. The winter season is at stake and none of us can afford to lose that.