Hurting the People Who Deserve it the Least
This is a RaceChaser editorial and 100 percent my own opinion…
I wonder how many stock-car racers in the RaceChaser coverage area are sponsored by a small business. I’ve guessing its a bunch. Bars, restaurants, bowling alleys, cafes, especially from smaller communities, can be found as sponsors on a lot of race cars. Some drivers, like Andy Wagner of Ada, for example, own or co-own such establishments. I’ve met a few, in fact.
Right now in Minnesota, those businesses, among others, are getting crushed by Governor Walz’s order to shut them down as a result of rising Covid-19 cases. There are several that won’t survive. The Seattle times reported that 110,000 restaurants across the nation have been closed long-term or permanently closed, and sadly some of these politicians don’t seem to give a crap.
The impact also include venues that host larger events like weddings or family reunions. And a side effect is hotels. I’ve stayed at a several hotels this summer and none were close to full. They’re hurting too.
Here is what this pisses me off. It’s crushing the people who deserve it the least.
And this shouldn’t matter what your political leaning is, either. I don’t care if it is a Republican or Democrat calling the shots. And before people start jumping all over me for not taking Covid-19 seriously, I do — I wear a mask where it is required indoors. I think it’s a serious health threat, many people have died, and that’s sad. But at the same time society needs to find a way to function because people’s livelihoods are at stake, too. As I’ve said there is a balance that needed to be struck and it hasn’t been.
You can argue the public health aspect of Governor Walz’s decision, and it’s fine to have that debate. But instead of working with the restaurants and bars to keep them open, they’ve been cut off at the knees — again (this happened earlier in this pandemic, if you recall). Many won’t survive even with the government’s so-called aid package that was passed recently. It’s like locking someone out of their house and then not finding them a place to stay in the meantime.
Some people shrug their shoulders and say it’s the price of fighting Covid-19, but I don’t totally buy it. I think you can put things in place to allow these venues to stay open while protecting customers and workers a lot. But instead of working with them, the rules have been dictated to the restaurants, bars and bowling alleys.
Wal-Mart, Target, shopping malls, grocery stores, places like Menards, etc., haven’t been shutdown. These places host hundreds people daily. Yes, most people wear masks, but not everybody has worn masks in these places, either. Aside from mask wearing, there haven’t been a lot of preventative measures taken at this places.
One of my Facebook friends from my hometown owns a venue that hosts weddings and other social gatherings. That business can’t be open right now. But here’s the kicker — it also is not eligible for government aid, either. So it’s shut down with no potential of financial help. I’m sure there are others in that boat.
And it’s wrong. And they have every right to be pissed.
You see, if your business isn’t open, you have no income and you can’t pay your bills. Like your mortgage, rent, car payment, insurance, food, health care, for example. The $300 weekly unemployment benefit is fine but for most doesn’t come close to covering expenses. Neither does the $600 stimulus check.
Of course, the attorney general of Minnesota is going after these establishments with lawsuits for failing to comply with the executive order. You can make the case the aren’t following the law, so to speak. But I wonder if what the same people of Mr. Ellison’s ideological slant would have the same outrage for sanctuary cities — you know, the ones that don’t enforce immigrations laws. Or law enforcement that doesn’t enforce federal drug laws, for example. I guess it all depends on which law you like.
Our family has tried to support such locally-owned eating establishments during this pandemic. And some, sadly have closed for good. I fear this will happen with several others, too.
The impact on racing is less sponsorships for some, loss of livelihoods for others, and perhaps one less place to eat after the races. All are negative effects.
I hope we continue to support locally-owned restaurants in Minnesota by ordering takeout. And when bars re-open in Minnesota I hope they are supported too. Right now, they are hurting.