13 January 2021

Enough is Fucking Enough: Masks, Shut-Downs, Porter County Health Department

So much has happened since the last time I posted. I'll skip the details and just say that I now own a bar. I'll also say that we have observed and followed every single health department rule they've issued in the last year.

Starting tomorrow, we will be closed down for 48 hours because the bartender wasn't wearing a mask properly and there were too many people too close together at the bar. 

I was also informed that the health department spot-checkers wrote in their report that they had to leave because they were in fear for their safety. 

In fear for their safety.

Welcome to the shit show you've created that you expect my employees to deal with every single day.  

We enforce the mask rule. We've  actually had to call the local PD because people have refused to wear the mask and also refused to leave and gotten hostile. My bartenders have been screamed at, debated with and threatened. But you guys are scared of the bar patrons at 1:30 in the afternoon? 

Fuck off.

We are required to close the bar at 11pm. This is costing us hundreds of dollars a day. Hundreds. We haven't complained, because we don't want anyone taking home a virus that kills their grandmother, right? We're running on fumes because our county is in the red level.

Except we aren't.

Porter County's Health Officer, Dr. Maria Stamp, took it upon herself to update our status to red, even though the Indiana State Department of Health criteria rates us at a level orange. 

From the Porter County website: 

"Porter County Public Health Officer Issues Additional COVID Related Requirements For Porter County

While Porter County may be reflected as Orange Level on the ISDH website, Porter County’s Public Health Officer has determined that additional COVID metrics warrant the need for additional restrictions to slow the spread of the virus."

If someone can just decide that the criteria doesn't matter, what is the point in having the criteria in the first place?

Again, fuck off.

I don't want anyone to get sick and die. I understand the risks that Covid poses. My brother, for example, will most likely die should he contract the virus because he has cancer and is on chemo. He has no immune system. I am not downplaying or ignoring the very real hazard that it poses to certain people.

The rules that the health department are imposing, however, are unfairly targeting restaurants and bars. I've seen a dozen people walk out of the gas station and through stores without masks. When is the last time they checked up on Family Express, Speedway or even the grocery stores?

We offer masks at our own expense. We kick people out if they refuse to wear one. We yell at and suspend bartenders who either don't or forget to wear their masks properly. None of that matters if the health department spot-checkers come in and see any kind of violation from customers or employees.

We had a violation last month because the bartender's mask slipped down while he had two drinks in his hands. The spot-checker admitted that he saw the bartender wearing his mask until it slipped down. They still shut us down for 24 hours. 

Seriously, fuck off. 

This is not only my livelihood. I have 9 other people who depend on me to provide them with a job. Being compliant hasn't gotten us anywhere, and the worst part of this whole thing is that we can do FUCK ALL about it. We either comply or we shut down. I'd opt to shut down if not for those 9 people trying to feed themselves and/or their kids with the job that I provide them. The health department gives zero fucks about the money they are taking away from those bartenders when they shut us down. 

Yesterday I was told, "I know this is hard." by a health department employee whose salary has never once been affected by the outbreak. I know she's just doing her job, so I'm just gonna say

Fuck off, that lady's boss.

I'm sorry for ranting once again. This is all getting very seriously out of control however and if I don't rant here I'll have to actually tell the health department people how I really feel and that won't work out well for anyone.

I truly do understand that this is a public health issue and that people are dying. I also understand that we are not an essential business and they could simply shut us down until further notice. Again. 

Then again, I also feel like they should be following the state's criteria and guidelines rather than just making up their own as it suits them.

4 comments:

  1. Send this post to the newspapers, mayor, governor and the health department. Probably a waste of time, but you have to do something.

    ReplyDelete