Recently I went to a restaurant to dine with some friends that I had not seen in nearly two months because of currently mandated COVID quarantines and restrictions. At the first restaurant I visited, I was told that no more than two people could share a table, and because of “social distancing” requirements my friends could only sit at a table that was 10 feet away. I felt that this was ridiculous, so I left.
At the second restaurant, we were quizzed like schoolchildren whether we had a fever, a cough, whether the four of us were from the same household, whether we had had contact with any known COVID cases in the last 30 days. Having passed that hurdle (yes, we all lied to the server about all being from the same household) we were deemed “acceptable” and ushered to an isolated table. There, we were provided an abbreviated photocopied (disposable) menu, and plastic disposable flatware.
This is ridiculous, and it is not the way I will live my life.
At Shooters of Columbus you will see that some of my colleagues who have chosen to wear masks, and some who have chosen to wear gloves. Some, like me, will wear no more personal protection equipment than I would have worn on any average pre-COVID day. We have powerful surface sanitizers that we are using frequently on touch surfaces, and on our own hands, and we are applying a bit of extra common sense in our interactions with others.
My point is this; as a free people, each of us are able to individually decide what precautions and protections best fit our personal needs to meet the “threat” as we perceive it. As a business owner, I will not dictate to my employees or my customers an irrational protocol that I feel is based on avoiding the unavoidable, or worse yet…avoiding the imaginary. Some might argue that mandatory head-to-toe PPE and social distancing is some form of “best practice” that we should all follow, and I will respectfully disagree. That decision is best left to the individual.
Our nation and the world are at a crossroads where we are quickly re-defining the rights, responsibilities and freedoms of nations, states, municipalities and individuals. Whether “saving” a small proportion of people in the United States is worth destroying the economy for years or decades to come is something we will decide today.
In conclusion, your deportment in regards to COVID transmission is your own decision, as is mine. If we respect each other’s personal wishes in this regard, all will be well in the end. I will end with a brief quote from the heights of the Great Depression, something that politicians and officials nationwide are re-creating at a record pace;
“So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory.”
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Inaugural address, 4 March 1933
Jon McMullen, Shooters of Columbus