The public health “protest” proclaimed by some of Santa Barbara’s restauranteurs gives off bad ideas that will make more people sick and, in some cases, even kill them.

One prominent local owner, Gene Montesano (Tre Lune, D’Angelo, Lucky’s, Joe’s) proclaims (see his restaurant windows) that it is “unfair” that his places of business can’t offer table service, while retail establishments like big box stores are allowed to remain open. The reason, of course, is that restaurant visits tend toward long and close-up exposures — of diners with each other, servers with other wait staff, and kitchen workers sharing in tight spaces.

Intelligent health authorities are trying to figure these things out; it is best to stay out of their way.

Yes, the closures cost jobs and cause business failures — for now. Over the longer run, it will get us to health. More people will then be alive to take pleasure in our restaurants, undisturbed by the disturbing response of some business owners to our currently shared danger.


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