Letters to the Editor

Letter: Restaurant closures

The past several weeks have been challenging for many, particularly those who have contracted the coronavirus themselves or have had a friend or family member stricken. I am confident that the end is in sight and that despite the critics, the government and the private sector have done a remarkable job responding with compassion and ingenuity.

There exists, however, a great deal of ambiguity in how various governments have reacted. Some have not implemented severe restrictions on travel and social interaction. Others, including Anchorage, have set forth tight restrictions on certain businesses and not others. For example, I was just at the grocery store and there were, by my count, more than 80 people inside, including staff. Some wore masks, many did not. Fruit and produce were being handled and inspected and put back in their bins by people without gloves or masks. Social distancing was inconsistent, to say the least.

Pot shops and liquor stores and other retailers are somehow designated ‘‘essential’’ and remain open. Some loosely enforce a rule of only 10 customers at a time and some do not. Yet, bars and restaurants remain closed. Could they not also have 10 or fewer customers at a time? Most such establishments have enough space to keep customers ‘‘socially distanced.’’ I say this with the full disclosure that I am a part owner of a bar/restaurant.

I would recommend that Mayor Ethan Berkowitz re-evaluate why certain businesses are essential and can remain open while others, like bars and restaurants, if they take the proper precautions, cannot. I fear it may already be too late for many such establishments, but at least an attempt could be made to stop the bleeding.

— Dan Sullivan

Part owner, McGinley’s Pub



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