Opinion: Re-open the restaurants

OPINION

BY DAVE PRICE
Daily Post Editor

Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody hasn’t presented any data to justify her decision to stop restaurants from operating outdoors.

Experts are saying that the surge in cases we’re currently experiencing comes from people who congregated with non-family members over Thanksgiving and the fact that cold weather brings people indoors, where viruses can spread more easily.

But there’s no evidence that dining outdoors has resulted in more Covid cases, just unproven speculation that eating without masks spreads the virus.

Santa Clara County residents have been dining outdoors for three or four months — wouldn’t the county’s contract tracing program show this is harmful by now?

If it is harmful, why are San Mateo County officials risking the lives of their residents by allowing outdoor dining?

The problem is that people are shaking their heads, knowing that Dr. Cody made a bad decision. And they’ll see this as a reason to disregard the county’s solid advice for wearing masks and social distancing.

This decision undermines the credibility of Dr. Cody and her department at the very time when they need it the most. Dr. Cody, reverse yourself and allow outdoor dining again. It won’t harm your reputation if you admit this mistake. In fact, admitting mistakes increases your credibility.

Editor Dave Price’s column appears on Mondays. His email address is price@padailypost.com.

3 Comments

  1. You say Dr. Cody’s credibility has been hurt by this decision. Her credibility was already in bad shape when the county couldn’t decide whether to require masks weeks after the CDC was recommending them. Local yokels like Cody should step aside and allow a national strategy to take hold.

  2. I agree that outdoor dining should never have closed, but I would go much further.

    Where is the evidence indoor dining is spreading infection? Most spread is within and among households via aerosolized particles which cannot be stopped or slowed by masks, which is why we never did this in the past or even in clinics/hospitals where neither the patients or medical staff ever wore masks until now.

    And why would you describe masks and social distancing as solid? Florida stopped mask mandates 90 days ago and opened up everything, including indoor dining, and they have the best Covid numbers of any state. You can look at all Nordic countries where they never had mask mandates and very litle social distancing, and they are no worse (even better) than nearby European countries with strictest mask mandates and lockdowns.

    • Further to my comment above, and to clarify, while Florida ended mask mandates back in September, many if not most Floridians continue to wear masks in public. But that is certainly not the case in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, or Finland. Voluntary mask wearing among the public in Nordic countries is somewhere around 2-4%.

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