Will mask mandate drastically change local behavior?
Written by Marc Albert
photo credit: (Credit: Prachatai)
Prior to the new announcement, crowds seemed ready to mingle as bands played and beer poured last Thursday evening at the Barlow, a commercial development in Sebastopol.
On Friday a cook at a nearby Thai restaurant, who declined to provide their name, said about 80 percent of customers continue to wear their mask, but that there had been a level of complacency.
Tareq Alrehani, a partner at Sebastopol's Fandee's restaurant, said business there had finally returned to pre-pandemic levels, and that people were eager for a return to normal.
That's not the case down the street at Portico. There, owner Paulo Pedrinazzi said he had seen a pretty recent significant change in local behaviors.
"I think in the last couple of days, especially since the new CDC guidelines have come out, we've had basically a 50% drop in business.
To accommodate reluctant diners, "We are expanding our ourdoor...the next-door neighbor here, Maria, they close at 6 and they told us that if we want to use their storefront to put a couple of tables there we can, and we're planning to do so if needed," he added.
Across highway 116, Nikki, a bartender at the Old Main Street Saloon says she's been shifting too. "A little more concerned, yeah, I have a friend of mine whose boss recently tested positive, so there's concern starting to get heightened, a little bit," she said.
The bar only re-opened after a year long hiatus. They shut down after patrons declined to follow mandates. Nikki said she's hoping that's not repeated.
"That's the problem. It's once they start drinking, they tend to not put their mask back up, not social distance, so we'll just have to see how well people are going to follow that this time," she said.
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