Los Angeles County mandate creates mistrust among fragile restaurant industry: ‘No clarity at all’
Angels The boycott reauthorized the mask Saturday night for public indoor settings in response to the delta variable spreading across the region, leaving business owners angry and weary with mixed messages.
“As of midnight Saturday, that’s a reality. So, anyone in L.A. County, vaccinated or not, has to wear a mask if you’re indoors. And that’s our reality now, our new reality,” said Angela Marsden, owner of a restaurant. Pineapple Hill Saloon & Grill in Sherman Oaks, California, Fox News Channel. The owner of the restaurant made heads and hearts turn with her viral video Criticizing California’s double standards over COVID restrictions last winter, she once again said she is choosing to defend her community from government overreach.
The reverse comes in politics even though 61% of the county’s population has already been fully vaccinated.
“We had one month of complete freedom to be able to stay indoors and not have to wear a mask,” she said.
In many ways, California is ground zero for government COVID-19 vaccine messaging, as officials continue to plead and motivate their constituents that it will save their lives and the lives of others. But Marsden said the reaction of many of her sponsors to the ever-changing regulations is nothing but confusion and concern.
“It creates anger. It creates confusion. And the funny thing is, you know, it creates more hesitation about vaccines, in my opinion,” she said. “I don’t understand the inconsistency, the confusion, and the taste for fear that our leadership is so used to doing.”
Marsden recounted several conversations with other restaurant employees in which they said they believed the move to force vaccinated citizens to wear a mask undermined confidence in their efficacy. One described having panic attacks from the prospect of not being protected; Another expressed anger at not knowing what to believe about the threat of infection.
“It was full of anxiety, frustration, and confusion, and it wasn’t clear at all,” Marsden said.
She added: “Everyone is very fickle. People are in a state of nervousness like I’ve never seen them before.”
Lack of confidence in vaccines is not only the cause, but the rising inflation rates the country has experienced as well. Although businesses are open to full capacity and normal hours, they are not making up for the massive amount of revenue lost during the pandemic. Marsden said most restaurants are either paring or making losses despite restrictions that have been lifted over the past few months.
“If we could sell our business today, we would, but there’s nothing to sell,” she said.
According to Marsden, it has also been difficult to hire new employees.
“We can’t get people to work,” she said, explaining how many of those who previously worked in kitchens and dining rooms have moved into positions at the company where remote work is possible. Those who apply but eventually delay the job offer tell Marsden they will simply wait until the pandemic has completely subsided before returning to work, complaining about the county’s renewed mask mandate.
To make matters worse, those who come to work earn $13 to $14 an hour under the California Minimum Wage Act, which allows servers to average $80 to $100 an hour with tips.
“My employees make more money than I do,” Marsden said.
The shockwave of the pandemic still sends seemingly ripple effects through every individual and industry, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, open or closed; But many like Marsden believe that the path to relief is not paved with government intervention.
“I do not understand why [the government] They can’t make up their mind! Marsden said. I want them to stop interfering in our business and let us make our own decisions. ”
Despite his fear of another closure, Marsden chose to persevere through the tango of government messaging and the renewal of restrictions.
She said, “I love my crew. I love my job.” A few employees have been at Pineapple Hill Saloon & Grill since the late 1970s, and Marsden said she considers them like family.
For Marsden, hope lies in her community.
“If a lot of us stay and try to bring about change, it will be [going to happen,]She said.