Friday, October 16, 2020
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The Villages

Kudos to Gov. DeSantis for reopening restaurants to full occupancy

To the Editor:

I am so glad that – finally – we are beginning to return to normal, especially with the Governor’s Phase III openings.
This will save a lot of peoples’ lives (suicides, mental health issues, drugs, etc.), livelihoods, houses and businesses, at least those who haven’t already been “killed” by the lockdown. The hospitality-related businesses have been most affected, such as restaurants, bars, and the like, as their fixed overhead is among the highest, and direct costs among the lowest (many of their employees work mainly for tips).
While many Villages residents are fearful for their health by the reopening, they still have the option of staying home and/or walking away from situations that their not comfortable in. And businesses are not being forced to operate at less than full capacity, they’re free to decide, as are their customers.
In the slower summer months, and even into fall and early winter, 50 percent capacity would be really good for most; however, at least they don’t have to turn away business if it’s there. The only way most hospitality-related businesses can make it, during the busiest time of the year – the “season” – is to be a full capacity.  For if they were to remain at 50 percent capacity, they would have to nearly double their prices to make ends meet; and, unless we’re willing to subsidize them – as we would if the government were to take your land via eminent domain – we would need to, and ought to, compensate them for their loss(es). Otherwise their customers would have to make up for their losses, via prices as high as double, for them to justify staying in business. And, I doubt too many would be in favor of paying double, or letting most all of them close their doors.
The lockdown was never intended to STOP the virus, and it did NOT, but mainly to buy time for the healthcare system to catch up with equipment and capacity, which it generally has. I am proud and pleased with the way our President (Trump) and Florida’s Governor (DeSantis) responded, in a measured and appropriate way, and I urge you to reject the thought that others (Democrats, for instance) could have handled it better, for they were too busy spending our time (and theirs) and our money on foolishness, such as Impeachment, letting illegal immigrants flood our county (which would have made the virus far worse). I, like many, am eager to return to normal, not some fictional “new normal.”

Richard Ripp
Village of Belle Aire

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