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Media Suddenly Questions Whether California’s Outdoor Dining Ban Contributed To COVID-19 Surge

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

After months of outdoor dining bans which have choked the life out of bars and restaurants across the country (with no apparent effect on the exponential rise in COVID 'cases' and deaths), the narrative appears to be undergoing a sudden shift – much to the chagrin of CNBC's resident virtue-signaling lockdown-preacher Andrew Ross Sorkin, we're sure.

Unfortunately for Sorkin, the new goalposts don't comport with his rantings. In an Inauguration Day report from California's SFGATE magazine asks: "Did shutting down outdoor dining contribute to California's COVID-19 surge?"

Empty patio tables separated by plastic dividers adorned with American flags are seen at Mel's Drive-In in West Hollywood on Nov. 30, 2020. (ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)


 

The article notes that "Late last week, Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot — typically cautious on COVID-19 policy — raised some eyebrows after calling for restaurants and bars to reopen "as soon as possible,"" on the premise that the pandemic surge had been primarily fueled by at-home gatherings and parties," and if people are going to gather regardless of what any stay-at-home order dictates, state and local governments should try to provide spaces where at least some mitigation efforts will be taken."

"If we have people and give them an outlet for entertainment in the restaurant space, in the bar space, we have much more of an opportunity, in my view, to be able to regulate and control that environment," said Lightfoot. "People are engaging in risky behavior that is not only putting themselves at risk, but putting their families, their co-workers and other ones at risk. Let’s bring it out of the shadows."

SFGATE then notes that while Lightfoot was specifically referring to indoor dining, which has been linked to COVID-19 transmission, "There has been no such linkage between outdoor dining and COVID-19 transmission, but California banned the activity in most of the state in early December, despite being one of the few states with a winter climate that would support it."

Meanwhile, at least two California judges have struck down the state's draconian mandates over lack of scientific evidence to support lockdowns and restaurant restrictions.

And despite the state's ban on outdoor dining, California has been experiencing one of the worst COVID-19 surges in the nation, which, as SFGATE logically asks: "Is it possible that shutting down outdoor dining made the state's surge even worse?"

According to UCSF infectious disease expert, Dr. Monica Gandhi, it's "highly likely."

"We won’t be able to know the exact percentage it drove, but I would say closing outdoor dining certainly did not help and likely hindered efforts to avoid a surge," said Gandhi. "It shut down in early December, and things did not get better from there; things actually got worse. Restrictions should be about understanding the human condition and keeping places that are safe open. Those of us who argue for a harm reduction approach have the same goal as the lockdownists: We want to reduce transmission, but we understand the human condition and the need to be with people."

When announcing the new stay-at-home order, Gov. Gavin Newsom and California Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly were repeatedly asked to show evidence that outdoor dining contributes to the surge of COVID-19. They provided no such evidence and said that the new business closures were about sending a message to minimize mixing.

Californians apparently didn't get the memo. Gandhi, like many who live in the state, knows of several people in her social circles who continued to meet up despite the stay-at-home order, turning outdoor dining plans into much riskier at-home gatherings. -SFGATE

"I do know that people were far less compliant with this last order," Gandhi added. "The state had less of an understanding that people were going to gather, and not because they weren't worried, or because they didn’t believe in COVID, but they believed they had a knowledge base from the media about what keeps us safe. With outdoor dining closed, they said, 'Let’s go inside with masks and distancing.' Of course, not everyone stuck to their masks and distancing plans once they went inside. You obviously have to take your mask off to eat, and the virus spreads much more easily indoors."

So, after months of seething and proselytizing over outdoor dining bans and those who have been breaking them – and which Governor Gavin Newsom (D) hypocritically defied after having been caught dining with lobbyists in November, questions are suddenly being raised over whether said restrictions actually contributed to the state's surge in cases.

 


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