This week, Santa Clara County announced that we've moved into the Orange Tier of California's Covid-19 guidelines, which loosens restrictions enough that small indoor gatherings and limited capacity indoor dining will be allowed again. Some people will read this and think, "This is a terrible idea" and others will think "YES! I can't wait!"
For the "terrible idea" people, your caution is understood. Outdoor options, takeout, and curbside services will continue to be offered. Keep in mind that Santa Clara County's public health policies have been some of the strictest in the nation. They're not going to allow anything that would be deemed reckless. Each business offering indoor services will have additional guidelines they're required to follow to keep risks as low as possible and some businesses are also taking additional steps on their own. Businesses have every motivation to make this work so we don't end up on a fast track right back to the Red Tier.
Those of you who can't wait to get inside a restaurant again, thank you for your enthusiasm, but please don't get the wrong message from this week's changes. We especially need YOU to be on your best behavior. A great fear of loosening restrictions is that some people will get the wrong idea, stop being disciplined, and we quickly lose everything we sacrificed for.
If we want nice things, we must be willing to put in the work needed to keep them.
Even as Santa Clara County is enjoying the fruits of our modest success in controlling infection rates, most of the rest of the country is slipping back into outbreak conditions again. We're also heading into the winter months and epidemiologists fear that there could be a strong seasonal component to Covid-19 much like the flu or common cold. We want these changes to last and that's going to require everyone to make smart decisions, be disciplined, and wear a mask like their lives depended upon it.
We've been given an opportunity. Enjoy. It. Responsibly.