Ohio continued on its deliberate path back to a fully functioning economy over the weekend. Restaurants and bars were permitted to begin serving patrons at their outdoor areas on Friday, and this week indoor service can begin — with appropriate social distancing.
Fortunately for the restaurants and bars that wanted to get back to business, the weather cooperated for the most part, with some warm weather and only a few thunderstorms rolling through. I walked to downtown Columbus over the weekend and passed several venues where people were enjoying the chance to get out. Yesterday Kish and I walked past another popular spot, Lindey’s patio, where you could hear the happy babble of chatting people, just like old times.
There were news reports of some Short North bars that had seemingly overcrowded outdoor areas, but I didn’t see anything like that. What I saw, instead, were businesses that wanted to get going again, and customers who wanted that, too. People seemed to be respecting the social distancing rules for the most part — both at the restaurants and otherwise. But there is no doubt that things are loosening up. Soon we’ll start to get some statistics that will allow us to assess the impact.