We’ve been under “full” lockdown here in the Bay Area for almost a week. The rules have been much more lax than they were when we first went into lockdown in March. Understandably so — we know a lot more about the virus now than we did when it started. However, the changes have barely been evident to me. All the retail stores are open, and people seem to be out and about just as much as they were two weeks ago.
Outdoor dining, however, isn’t allowed. This smells like security theater. If you can spend 30 minutes in a poorly ventilated store with others — admittedly, with everyone masked — is it really less safe to eat outdoors spaced from others?
I get that you have to do something different (3,000 people dying every day is absolutely horrific), that sometimes it’s the second- or third-order effects that result in the changes you want, not the first. But I feel for folks who are most impacted by these rules (such as restaurants) when it’s not clear that the rules are addressing what most needs to be addressed. It’s also just confusing for everybody, and you have to wonder if the confusion is undermining the point of the order in the first place.
Apparently, this past Thursday, San Francisco changed the rules again, now allowing people to meet with one person outside of their household for an outdoor, spaced and masked walk. Again, this feels safe, but if this is now allowed, what is the theory of change of this whole lockdown again?
It will be interesting to see which way the numbers are trending in a few weeks.