As winter approaches, restaurants (those that still remain, that is) have begun preparing for the brutal challenge of following government diktats while somehow convincing customers to eat outside in below zero temperatures.
The owners of such establishments have thus come up with a clever idea to better protect their patrons from the cold while technically following government orders. This brilliant idea involves putting walls and a roof around customers as they eat, as noted by our very own Seth Dillion:
This is happening in several big cities, with New York producing the most extreme examples. Take a look at a few other establishments in the Big Apple that have built their own "outdoor" dining areas:
I can't fault the restaurant owners, however. This is what happens when the government plays stupid games with people's lives, denying the essentiality of work to the human spirit and the financial realities of forced shutdowns while pandering slogans such as "sTaY hOmE, sAvE LiVeS."
After all, restaurant owners were told this nightmare would be over in a few months. At that point, they assumed we would have flattened the curve, better understood COVID-19, and had health precautions in place. At that point, humans would be free to be human again.
Restaurant owners bent over backward to limit seating, install plexiglass, sanitize – you name it, they did it. Their livelihood depends on people feeling safe to socialize. The government in places like NYC, however, has continued to steamroll these establishments by prioritizing safety over liberty.
"The whole idea of us getting the PPP loan was that we would resume indoor dining on July 7 and build on cash reserves until then, but now the money is gone and the weather is going to change," said Mark Fox, the owner of several restaurants in NYC. "Our sales are still down 81% even though our tables are full every night, so it's not like we're not selling."
While these "outdoor" seating areas are absolutely ridiculous, they are also a strange testament to how markets work. No matter how oppressive the government, buying and selling and working and building is a part of human nature. People find a way. Communist regimes have sought for a century to cut out this part of our nature in order to build utopias. It turns out, Marx was wrong (surprise!) and those like John Locke were right.
You may wonder why government authorities have allowed such establishments to be built. Perhaps it's because those authorities, like California Governor Gavin Newsom the other week, are too busy enjoying "outdoor dining experiences" of their own.