Post #674: Outdoor dining and farmers’ markets

Posted on April 29, 2020


Today, this story popped up.  Vilnius is going to turn its public spaces into open-air restaurants.

As described in Post #671, I think that has merit.  Based on what scant analysis exists, outdoor spaces in general appear safer than indoor.  A plausible reason for that is limiting potential for aerosol transmission of disease.  So, to the extent that we have any science to suggest what to open up first, this idea of using the public open space for benefit of the local restaurant industry makes a lot of sense.

The Lithuanians are no softies on these public health issues.   They just appear to be a heck of a lot smarter than we are.  They made face masks mandatory in public spaces earlier this month, and they enforced that with fines.  Now they’ve relaxed that, but only outside of heavily populated areas.  They banned inter-city travel at Easter.  And now they are in the process of relaxing restrictions.

It’s almost as if they think about what they are doing.  Maybe we have a few things to learn from Lithuania.  Particularly when, as of now, they have less than 10% the death rate, per capita, that we do, from COVID-19.

Given the choice, I’d shop a farmers’ market rather than a grocery store.  And I’d eat in an outdoor cafe before I’d eat in an indoor restaurant.

If we’re going to re-open businesses, we ought to do it as intelligently as possible.  And my reading of the data is that it’s a lot safer to do your business outside rather than inside.