Every Tuesday for the past 7 years, I get an email.
It is a reminder I send to myself via Followupthen.
It contains a short list of restaurant phone numbers.
The gentle weekly nudge is a timely reminder to make dinner reservations for that Friday night.
Back when life was normal pre-pandemic, we used to go out to dinner every Friday night. I know my way around a kitchen or grill and my wife is an excellent chef, but after 27 years of marriage, the little things still count. A weekly break from cooking and cleaning is part of that.
But about 6 months ago, that screeched to a halt. Going out to dinner for date night has been put on hold. No restaurants; no shows or concerts, stand up comedy, theater, pretty much all live entertainment has been cancelled. Even going out to the movies has become a memory. Mind you, I am not complaining, but simply noting the reality brought about by the pandemic — and our bungled response to it.
I am fortunate enough to be able to work remotely; like everyone else, I just want things to return to normal. I want to go back to the old days of hoping not to catch the flu and if you did, it was no big deal, and not a random, crazy-high-risk, elevated pandemic concern of 2020.
In the United States, the human toll has been awful:
Excess Deaths Associated with COVID-19: 2017-2020
So too has been the economic impact.
My weekly reminder (below) is heartbreaking — not so much about date night, but about these restaurants. They are all small, family-run businesses. Over the years we have become friendly with these small business owners; we know most of the chefs and owners and waitstaff personally for years and years. How many of these will be able to make it through this intact? Survive as the accumulation of rent continues while revenues collapse — even if they quickly pivoted to offering takeout? How much will this impact their personal financial security?
A lifetime of work and re-investment into your own business, all put at risk due to our manage this properly, to rise to the occasion.
We have completely wasted our lockdown — we failed to use it to get this scourge under control. Instead, we are spitballing our way through: We are 4% of the world’s population but nearly 25% of the infections and deaths. Compared to the rest of the world, we mismanaged our response to the pandemic. How much incompetence and malfeasance and foolishness and magical thinking has led to 200,000 Americans dead? It is just infuriating watching us blow this.
I am an owner of a small business. I know what it is like to pour your heart and soul into a company. To have that ripped away because of incompetency, magical thinking, ignorance and sheer stupidity is utterly frustrating.
It is a tragedy.
The end of Summer is always a little bittersweet, but this summer is especially sad. 2020 has been just one heartbreak after another . . .
Brass Rail (516) 723-9103
Barneys (516) 671-6300
Buckram Stables (516) 671-3080
Brick House Pub (516) 801-3721
Basil Leaf (516) 676-6252
Osteria Leanna (516) 584-6995
2 Spring St. (516) 624-2411
Nikkei of Peru (516) 226-1810
Maldon & Mignonette.. (516) 801-3250
Oak Room Tavern.. (516) 277-2350
Metropolitan Bistro 516-801-4500
Tavern 227 516-200-9179
La Spezia (516) 801-4155
Thyme (516) 625-2566
MP Taverna (516) 686-6486
Kyma (516) 621-3700
Hendrick’s Tavern (516) 621-1200
La Ginestra (516) 674-2244
The Cove (516) 676-1211
Cold Spring Harbor
Rothmans (516) 922-2500
Mara’s Homemade (516) 682-9200
The Rolling Spring Roll.. (516) 677-9090
Ernesto East (516) 671-7828