Mark Gold: Close businesses that defy health orders |

Mark Gold: Close businesses that defy health orders

I find it frustrating to read in The Union that places like Calla Lily Crepes continue to serve food indoors, defying both state and county emergency health ordinances without impunity.

The Nevada County Environmental Department as well as both the cities of Grass Valley and Nevada City have gone out of their way to accommodate places like this, giving them time to get their operations adjusted to the new restrictions, and helping by blocking off city streets to allow for outdoor seating.

But there continue to be outliers like Calla Lily Crepes, whose owners continue to defy public health orders because, like those who refuse to wear masks, feel their rights are being infringed upon or some other nonsensical excuse. Instead of continuing to fine them for every day they operate with their permit revoked, perhaps it’s time to chain the doors shut.

We all realize that the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for businesses, and the food service industry has been especially hard hit by it. Most places have had to adapt to the changing conditions, and while it hasn’t been easy nor cheap to do so, they’re doing their part to help curb the spread of the virus.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand why some people feel that a ban on indoor dining, and required mask-wearing may seem like some sort of infringement of their rights, however, it’s not. Let’s use history and facts to put things into perspective. When Susan B. Anthony voted, illegally in 1872 (the 19th Amendment wasn’t ratified until 1920), she didn’t put the public’s health at risk, nor when Rosa Parks, also in an act of civil disobedience, refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white person in 1955 (the Civil Rights Act didn’t happen until 1964).

These statewide public health orders are temporary, and in place so that we can lower the COVID-19 infection rate, and get back to some semblance of normalcy. Opponents need to grow up, stop being selfish, and take some responsibility for not only themselves, but for their community as a whole.

And when did we as Americans get so soft when it comes to inconvenience or perceived infringement of their freedoms?

During World War II our parents and grandparents were forced to ration both food and consumer goods. Meat, dairy, paper goods, and countless other items were either rationed or not available altogether, and you had to bring a ration book with you to the store. These days people absolutely lose their minds when stores are out of a sale item, let alone when they were out of toilet paper at the start of the pandemic.

During two world wars, we as a country came together in solemn patriotic duty, to fight aggressors abroad. We temporarily gave up luxuries and some freedoms to fight those enemies. COVID-19 is just a new aggressor, but this time it’s on our shores, and it’s gaining ground.

If we want to do our patriotic duty as Americans, we as a community (and the country as a whole) need to wear masks in public places, practice social distancing, wash our hands, and stop listening to the nonsense that places like Calla Lily and self-proclaimed pundits like Reinette Senum have espoused. They are not virologists nor infectious disease experts.

Most every first-world country has knocked their infection rates down into the single digits, and in some cases have almost eliminated it entirely, while the United States is right there at the top of the list for numbers of infections, rate of infections, and deaths. Those are numbers we should not be proud of nor that we’ve lost nearly 180,000 Americans to the virus.

Sure, Nevada County’s numbers are relatively low, but we can’t afford to drop our guard, complacency is exactly what leads to increased infections. We’re very fortunate that we are still allowed to have certain businesses open that are forced to be closed in other parts of the state.

Don’t blow this Nevada County, and don’t let businesses continue to defy health regulations. It’s time to lock their doors, it’s the patriotic thing to do.

Mark Gold lives in Grass Valley.

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