The state of Colorado has suspended the business license of C&C Coffee and Kitchen in Castle Rock after the owners opened the doors of the restaurant on Mother’s Day and allowed customers to sit and dine. The business violated the state’s ban on restaurants only serving carryout and delivery.
The restaurant was packed on Sunday with a line down the block to get in.
What’s worse, is that the customers weren’t six feet apart and few people wore masks. Governor Jared Polis was outraged.
“I hope, I pray that nobody falls sick from businesses that chose to violate the law,” Polis said when announcing the suspension. “But if the state didn’t act and more businesses followed suit, it’s a near guarantee that people would lose their lives and it would further delay the opening of legitimate businesses.”
C&C Coffee and Kitchen remained open Monday afternoon, and it’s unclear exactly what the state is going to do if the owners continue to defy the order to close.
“It is disheartening that this restaurant has chosen to move ahead of the public orders and not even consider implementing best practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” John Douglas, Tri-County’s executive director, said in a statement announcing the closure order.
The health department could shut them down, but owners Jesse and April Arellano do not appear to be in any hurry to comply. “We’re here to serve the people of the community, churches and schools, and anyone we can help. That’s why we’re in the business, to serve people,” Jesse said.
The virus-shamers have been in full-throated attack mode.
“I’ve seen a lot of love and I’ve seen a lot of hate,” he added. “We’ve gotten death threats; ‘We’re going to burn the place down,’ ‘I hope all your family all gets COVID and dies,’ and things like this.”
Mr. Arellano wonders what life will be like if we give in to the fear of this virus.
“Everyone is tired of this and they’re ready to live life,” he said. “What kind of life are we going to have if we’re all scared to live and we’re always in a bubble? No one wants to live like that. There are risks all over the place, every day. There are animals who can hurt you in the mountains, but you don’t stop going there. You can drown in the ocean surfing, but people still go.”
Or you can go to the store and catch the flu. While COVID-19 is a more serious disease — more deadly and you’re more likely to be hospitalized if you contract it — the 35-60,000 flu deaths and 400,000-plus hospitalizations every year don’t appear to rattle anyone’s nerves that much.
And for good reason: we’ve learned to live with it. For many of us, it makes perfect sense to take precautions like practicing social distancing and wearing a mask. Those of us at risk for serious illness or death should know what to do to protect ourselves.
But it still should be a choice. I have no doubt infections and death will spike when we reopen the economy. This is to be expected. But people are getting sick and dying now and no one is advocating we lock people in their houses and close everything down. It’s not possible — unless you’re in Communist China. If you want to stop people from dying that’s what needs to be done.
So we’re willing to accept some people dying and getting sick. How many? The American people will decide. And they appear to be deciding to take some risks and go about living their lives.
The governor can emote and weep about people getting sick and dying all he wants. The people have spoken.