Editorial Time for trial and error?
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BRONX TIMES REPORTER, F 12 EB. 26-MAR. 4, 2021
BY BRONX TIMES
In New York City, 10% is an insuffi
cient tip for a server or bartender. Is
Governor Cuomo’s announcement to
raise indoor dining capacities from
25% to 35% an insuffi cient action?
In asking this question we are not
suggesting dramatic overnight action
with a 50% cap, Broadway restaurants
rammed and the return of happy hour.
Cuomo says he follows the data.
This 10% bump actually makes early-
February’s 150 guest wedding permission
seem even a little reckless—even
with the stringent protocols the state
demands for these occasions.
Yes, infection rates have dropped to
less than 3% in NYC since the end of
November. Yes hospitals are operating
at a 31% capacity.
Let us also not forget that this virus
is unpredictable: one minute there is
hope (vaccine rollouts and Wall Street
rebounds); one minute there is despair
The question is: is increasing indoor
dining 10% until New Yorkers are
safely vaccinated a sensible strategy
that will help New York City’s struggling
restaurants in any more than
a minimal way? After all, we’ve only
begun vaccinating people since mid-
December. We have a long way to go,
and many young and healthy individuals
continue to avoid restaurants, bars,
gyms, mass transit and any kind of
Will it make a meaningful fi nancial
difference at all? Or could the coin fl ip
the other way?
This extra 10% gives restaurant
owners choices to try and claw back at
least some of their COVID loses, and
lord knows they deserve these opportunities.
But we are living in the unknown
fi nancially, culturally, medically and
The effects of the mutated strains
fi rst detected in South Africa and the
UK have been catastrophic.
The UK is back in March-era lockdown
and although we don’t know
much about the strain yet, the CDC
has confi rmed that it is 50% more contagious—
although the medical jury is
still out on whether or not it is more
So far, New York seems untouched,
to an extent. Only two patients have
been identifi ed as infected with the
strain: a Nassau man on Sunday 21 and
a Connecticut individual earlier this
But let’s not forget that brutal
COVID-19 hallmark: lengthy asymptomatic
incubation periods. We are
not untouchable and the CDC expects
the mutation infection rates of the new
strain to double each week until it becomes
We’re in a race against time with
the rollout. We will beat this virus.
But is now really the time to experiment,
and is 10% in lives or dollars really