New Jersey Is Re-Opening And I’ve Got Mixed Feelings (Opinion)
How does a 100% reopening of restaurants, gyms, theaters, stores and amusements parks in NJ make you feel? Gov Murphy said yesterday that he will lift most restrictions by May 19th. I should feel excited right? Part of me wants to do backflips (I want so badly to be back to normal) but the other part of me spent so much time being scared for the past year it makes me wonder why is May 19th the day COVID can't get me anymore?
I have to say some of these rules seem so arbitrary. For example, the ban on bar seating will be lifted this Friday, May 7, and dance floors will be allowed for private events. Why is it OK for a catered private event to have a dance floor but not a nightclub? So we're less likely to catch COVID at a wedding reception dance floor than a nightclub? Has Gov Murphy seen my family's wedding receptions? After we toss a few back, our receptions are dance clubs.
When going out to eat, there are no more limits on head counts, but patrons will still have to wear masks until they are seated. Again, this is a weird one too...I can catch COVID when I walk to my table but not at my table? My server had his mask around his chin the entire time we ate out last week. Were the tables wiped down with sanitizer? Most likely no, a recycled cloth rag is more like it.
Don't get me wrong, I know our businesses need us, and we need them! I just have a hard time believing what people tell me is safe or dangerous anymore. Anyone else feel conflicted? Here are the changes getting ready to take place ready or not:
Restrictions changing Friday, May 7:
Indoor bar seating allowed
Buffets and self-serve stations allowed in restaurants
Outdoor gathering limits will increase to 500 people (previously set for May 7)
Indoor room capacity at 50%, no more than 250 people
Reopening dance floors for private events such as proms
Increasing capacity large outdoor venues and stadiums up to 50%
Restrictions changing Wednesday, May 19:
No limit on outdoor events except for 6-foot social distancing. This means fireworks, parades, and state fairs can all go forward as long as everyone is 6 feet apart. (that is impossible lets be honest, we are really going to be 6 feet apart at a fireworks display?
No capacity limit at indoor establishments except for 6-foot social distancing.
No capacity limit for religious services, retail stores, casinos, gyms, personal care, indoor or outdoor amusement and recreation, and indoor and outdoor pools.
Indoor gathering limits for house parties will be doubled to 50.
No limits for catered affairs, religious services and performance so long as 6-foot social distancing is followed.
Gatherings overseen by commercial entities such as expos and conferences limited to 250 people.
Capacity at venues with at least 1,000 fixed seats limited to 30% with ticketed groups sitting 6 feet apart.
I guess I don't see what any restrictions accomplish at all at this point. You might as well open it all the way in every way because none of these partial limits will do a thing in my opinion. I also wonder if we are just doing this too soon. Why not let the vaccines do their thing a bit longer? I don't want us to get our lives back only to have our social lives taken away because this all goes wrong.
I'm not opposed to opening back up and I know it has to happen at some point but I just wonder if we are really going back before this thing is under control. I'm no expert, I'm just a do it or don't kinda girl. This half way stuff feels like a joke.
Thank you to NJ101.5 for original reporting. Whatever you decide I hope you stay safe and enjoy...