It is not to be underestimated how brutal the COVID-19 pandemic was for restaurants. Countless facilities closed their doors forever, those who managed to stay open hobbled on take-away and delivery orders, and workers were leaving the industry en masse, exposed to both potential illness and abuse from customers who refused To wear masks.
But since March, when Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that Texas was “100 percent open for business,” and lifted any previously put in place policies to contain the spread of the virus, companies have made a comeback. After being stuck indoors for months, the Texans really wanted to get out, see their friends, and support their neighborhood bars and restaurants. It finally seemed as if the state was out of the woods. But now a significant increase in new COVID-19 cases Fueled by the highly contagious Delta variant, this recovery threatens.
On Monday, July 20, Dallas County announced 406 new COVID-19 cases, representing a spike in northern Texas. “This is our highest one-day total new cases since early March and reflects the trends we’re seeing in increasing hospital admissions and the aftermath of the Delta variant,” said Jenkins. “Don’t hesitate any longer and get your vaccination today.” The evidence of the impending surge has been accumulating for weeks, as cases increased in the suburbs of the region, including significant increases in new cases in Addison, Saxon and Garland.
All of this is really bad news for everyday Texans and restaurants that were just beginning to gain a foothold as diners flocked back to their favorite eateries. These businesses were busy; In fact, they are so busy that pretty much every restaurant owner in town has complained about a so-called “hiring crisis” that is not allowing them to fully occupy their restaurants. However, as COVID cases increase, many guests are likely to stay home to prevent the virus from spreading.
How Texans reacted after Governor Abbott lifted restrictions in March confirms this. Many dining rooms stood empty for weeks while guests waited to be vaccinated before venturing back into the world of restaurants. Workers did the same, choosing to work in facilities that, even without the statewide mandate, would continue to enforce policies such as social distancing and the wearing of masks. The real comeback for restaurants didn’t start until later, in the ril and in May, after the vaccine became available to all Texans over the age of 18.
In Texas, where COVID-19 regulations have been fairly lax even at the height of the pandemic, it is clear that the lifting of these limited restrictions in March did not cause an immediate spike in new cases of the virus. But that was long before the Delta variant of COVID-19 became the dominant strain, identified in so many new cases across the country the test positive rate has increased to more than 10 percent. If people are afraid of contracting the virus, they will not engage in behavior during the pandemic that has been found to be risky during the pandemic, such as eating indoors.
A recent analysis of more than 9,000 workers in the service sector shows that only about half of those employed in the industry are vaccinated, especially thanks to systemic barriers such as a lack of health insurance or paid free time. As long as this continues, restaurants will always be inherently a vector of the spread of COVID.
It’s true that the Delta variant primarily threatens people who have not yet received the COVID-19 vaccination, but there are still plenty of those people in Dallas County. According to the Jenkins office, about 58 percent of Dallas County’s residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Only about 46 percent of people in Dallas County over 18 are fully vaccinated, making hundreds of thousands of adults susceptible to contracting – and spreading – the virus.
Perhs most important is the problem of children under the age of 12 who still do not have access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Outbreaks of the virus are still occurring in day camps and childcare facilities across the region. Parents in the area are rightly concerned that their children will get sick at school. So why would they consider taking them to a restaurant – places where people don’t need to wear masks or show proof of vaccination?
At this point in time, it is very unlikely that Governor Abbott, no matter how bad it gets, will attempt to restore the capacity limits or other restrictions that were put in place during the pandemic. It’s a terribly unpopular decision among Republicans, and next year is an election year. As a result, people will have to decide for themselves what to do safely in this surge. The most cautious of them stay at home.
The recovery that restaurants have been experiencing since March is dangerously fragile. Many facilities are paying back the debt they accumulated during the pandemic while trying to stay afloat, which makes every dollar spent in a dining room crucial. Thanks to supply chain problems, rising labor costs and inflation Running a restaurant is also becoming more expensive every day. Without nationwide capacity constraints, it is unreasonable to assume that companies would voluntarily restrict their money-making opportunities, especially now.
To reverse this trend, the only way Texans can right now is to vaccinate and encourage everyone they know to be vaccinated. For most people, especially those with access to paid illness, there are few excuses not to get vaccinated. It is currently possible to go to virtually any drugstore or pharmacy and get vaccinated for free. Repeat studies have shown the vaccine’s effectiveness and safety, despite a flurry of disinformation from antivaxxers anders right-wing politicians.
If Texans want their favorite restaurants and bars to survive, we need to make sure they are safe to visit.
To find a COVID-19 vaccine near you, Visit the CDC’s national database of vaccine providers.