The good news and bad news of Murphy’s new restaurant rules (Opinion)
I’ve always maintained that Gov. Murphy‘s policies regarding coronavirus restrictions were less about protecting the people and more about him. Less about so-called “science and data“ and more about power. Some of the most egregious breaches of freedom throughout the pandemic have been a result of some of his mandates, which have proven to be illogical in so many cases.
At his last press conference, Murphy stated that he had good news for restaurant owners in the form of a capacity increase for their struggling businesses.
Many people celebrated when Murphy decided to ease up on the restrictions for restaurants, increasing the occupancy restrictions to 35 from 25%. And people are celebrating this as if it’s great news. And, in a way, it is. It could marginally add to the bottom line of a restaurant’s weekly take. And there’s no way that’s anything but good news.
But think about this: It makes no sense when the latest numbers show that coronavirus cases are actually higher than they were a few weeks ago — and isn’t this all supposed to be based on science and data?
To me, this proves that this is just another arbitrary step that Gov. Murphy is taking under the guise of protecting his constituents. Also, I have spoken to restaurant owners who say it’s impossible to create increased capacity without decreasing the 6 feet of space between tables. This is just logic.
If restaurant capacity is directly proportional to the size of your space, then you’ve already crammed as many tables in as you possibly can at 6 feet apart. In order to put another 10% capacity into the room you would have to put tables closer together or find weird awkward and inconvenient spots for them like a game of Tetris.
But this is consistent with most of Gov. Murphy‘s executive orders so far: Issue a mandate and worry about how it could possibly affect people later, if at all.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi's own.