It’s been more than one year since COVID-19 shut down the country and nearly the entire world.
The pandemic has been stressful, exhausting and rough on people’s mental health, but things started to look like they were taking a turn for the citizens of Los Angeles in early January.
Jan. 29 is when officials finally allowed restaurants to continue outdoor dining after an additional two-month suspension that forced the restaurant industry to transition to delivery and take-out only.
With restaurants limited to a 50% capacity on top of a strict mask mandate, cleaning protocols and the positioning of tables to be at a minimum eight feet apart, business owners are taking as many safety precautions as possible.
Prior to the reopening of outdoor dining, the LAPD busted several secret parties with hundreds of people in attendance.
When officials decided to shut down all outdoor dining in early December 2020, things did not get better from there. On the Los Angeles Times, county supervisor Kathryn Barger said that though cases had been increasing, the rise could “not be directly attributed to outdoor dining.”
It’s better for people to go to a restaurant that provides outdoor dining with strict and helpful protocols to keep us safe from COVID-19, rather than people gathering together at secret house parties with no restrictions.
According to the Los Angeles Daily News, Superior Court judge James Chalfant said that the county could not “sufficiently show a rationale for the decision made to close outdoor dining.”
Outdoor dining is a blessing in disguise because of how safe officials are trying to keep it. No one is at parks mandating people staying at least six feet apart or wearing masks while they’re having picnics.
Before outdoor dining reopened, there were nearly no safe activities for people to do that got them out of their houses. There was a massive spike in mental health issues during the lockdown.
With the reopening of outdoor dining, people are finally allowed to leave their house and see their friends to get the serotonin their brains need to have a healthy mentality.
Not only did the shutdown result in a spike of mental health issues, it also destroyed small businesses and restaurants, causing many of them to close permanently.
Now that restaurants are allowed to serve customers, hundreds of residents have their jobs back making this a huge opportunity for small business owners to make the money they need to save their businesses.
The reopening of outdoor dining is one of the first good things that’s happened since the new year. It’s showing a sign that things are starting to slowly go back to normal, and that we will get through such a dark time in all of our lives.