If 25 is good for a NJ party, why not inside a restaurant? (Opinion)
We've been bad little boys and girls in New Jersey. We've been partying up a storm and Governor Dad, or as I like to refer to him "Our Father who art in Trenton, Murphy be thy name," is so upset that in the name of COVID-19 he has limited all indoor parties to just 25 people.
That's down from the previous rule: 25 percent of a room's capacity, but no more than 100 people. Now the capacity limit stays, but the hard limit is 25 people.
Meanwhile, New Jersey's restaurant industry held a virtual press conference practically begging to be allowed to have indoor dining. New Jersey currently only allows outdoor dining, with social distancing.
"Our restaurants are certainly safer than house parties where these celebrations are occurring because restaurants and banquet halls are not open," Marilou Halvorsen, president of the New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Association, said during the event on Zoom.
She's absolutely right. From a common sense standpoint, if it's OK for 25 people to go to a party where they may or may not be wearing masks or social distancing (seriously, who social distances at a party? Would you even go to a party where everyone was wearing masks and staying six feet away from each other?), then why wouldn't by at least all right for those same 25 people to be allowed into a restaurant where they will be required to social distance and wear masks until the food is served?
As for the food, I would think restaurant food cooked special for the person eating it would be a lot safer than the bowls of chips or, God forbid, a buffet.
It's also much easier for the state to enforce the 25 in a restaurant, where the business can be fined or closed down, as opposed to private parties where police are having trouble figuring out how to handle Murphy's new mandate. All in all, it comes down to this: If it's now OK for 25 people to be allowed into a room, it shouldn't matter if that room is a restaurant — especially when those restaurants need those 25 people now more than ever.