Restaurateurs, diners and servers are chomping at the bit to get back to the business of hospitality. Many New Yorkers yearn to escape from their small apartments to get a bite to eat, some fresh air and to bask in the sunshine. Tables and chairs are now peppering the city streets.
Aside from the constant reminders to wear a mask, wash your hands and use hand sanitizers, many restaurants are coming up with creative and necessary ways to keep within the guidelines of social distancing.
A café in Germany passes out hats made from pool noodles to keep patrons away from each other. One tres chic restaurant in Paris places jumbo Teddy Bears on reserved chairs. Mannequins dressed in period costumes or fashionable clothing occupy assigned tables as dining al fresco continues to expand.
Why is distancing so important?
The CDC Organization and health agencies recently have identified respiratory-droplet contact as the major mode of Covid-19 transmission. These fluid droplets can transfer the virus from one person to another if they land on the eyes, nose or mouth. This occurs more frequently when people are in tight quarters; the ‘virus spray’ that lands on hard surfaces tend to be less likely the culprit for transmission as the droplets fall to the ground quicker and dissipate.
As interior dining rooms start to open, restaurants are taking precautions on air quality and ventilation. Researchers in China concur that poor ventilation inside a restaurant in Guangzhou more than likely caused the spread of the disease by one infected patron to several others. Distancing is also important because talking, laughing, singing and simply breathing produce respiratory bits of varying sizes that can disperse along air currents and potentially infect people nearby. This is why large gatherings such as weddings, birthday parties, and business lunches, etc. will not occur for a while.
While this may not seem appetizing, it’s not all doom and gloom and U.S. researchers are working diligently to figure out the best way to proceed by learning from success stories in other countries such as South Korea and Greenland. Keep in mind, the longer you sit with other people nearby, the more likely for exposure. That being said, you don’t have to eat and run but try not to linger at the outdoor cafes. The majority of restaurants will be using a skeletal staff and the business needs to turn the table in order to make a profit.
Sources: World Health Organization, CDC.
Pics: Getty Images.
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