Thursday was a new day in San Diego. Restaurants that were limited to carry-out and delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic were able to let people dine-in after roughly nine weeks.
“We woke up and we’re like, ‘Oh my God! We get to serve people inside instead of the take out,’” exclaimed Erica Soto inside the Encinitas Café.
In mid-March, the restaurant closed its doors but used the time to upgrade the café’s interior. Wednesday was the first day they opened for carry-out orders.
“We saw people we haven’t seen in three months,” Soto said.
The Café only had to wait a few more hours to open the dining room, too.
“It is a little bit confusing but we’re doing our hardest to do everything by the book,” she said.
The COVID-19 “book” keeps getting new chapters while other chapters are torn out.
“It’s been very upsetting to me, what I see happening,” said Lois Davies while on a walk in Tierrasanta.
The 80-year-old said she takes precautions to protect herself, but she was frustrated with government leadership on all levels.
“I want to see more people think for themselves if that’s possible,” Davies said.
“We’re definitely going to be more conservative when it comes to a restaurant,” said Bill Langdon standing along a Del Mar beach with his wife, Virginia.
The couple was divided on whether restrictions were lifting too quickly.
“I would tend to be more cavalier but then my kids keep me in line,” said Mr. Langdon.
“I’m very happy with the scientific communities,” countered Virginia. “I think brilliant minds are coming out and that’s what I’m excited about.”
“Open up the city of God’s sake,” exclaimed Levi Lee on a downtown San Diego sidewalk. “I think this lockdown is going to hurt us more in the long run.”
“I fundamentally and categorically disagree,” said his friend, Greg McElroy. “It’s easy for us to say, ‘Okay, reopen.’ I don’t think we’re ready.”
Soto said she is ready for at least this next step.
“We want to keep our customers safe. We want to keep our employees safe. I want to be safe for my family.”