In spite of all the precautions and safety theater built up to allow restaurants to stay open, dining out during the coronavirus pandemic is still a risky endeavor and an ethical conundrum. In the best possible situation, you're still risking the health of yourself and the wait staff to preserve the experience of eating somewhere outside of your house. New York City is not in the best possible situation.
Mayor Bill de Blasio encouraged New Yorkers to continue to eat at restaurants with outdoor dining, even as a winter storm bears down on the city with promises of several inches of snow.
“This is perfectly good weather and there are a lot of outdoor dining setups that have kept people real warm and safe, they’ve done great,” de Blasio said at a press conference about the incoming inclement weather. “I encourage everyone to have a winter adventure tonight.”
De Blasio added that he'd dined in worse conditions, though it's unlikely his last frigid, outdoor meal came with the looming specter of a deadly virus.
"[I have] done outdoor dining in this kind of temperature and not a problem at all for me," he said, before offering takeout as an option.
Needless to say, de Blasio's devil-may-care attitude about outdoor dining in treacherous conditions riled up a few Twitter users.