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Maskless Republicans with a microphone get West Roxbury restaurant hauled before licensing board

The Boston Licensing Board today issued a warning to West on Centre for a Republican buffet breakfast last month that violated several of the state's and city's Covid-19 regulations, including maskless attendees wandering around as they sampled a buffet before crowding together at tables as speakers regaled them while standing at a microphone.

At a hearing on the same day as the state and city relax some of their restaurant regulations - restaurants can now seat their full capacity, assuming they can separate tables by at least six feet - board Chairwoman Kathleen Joyce acknowledged the confusion surrounding just what restaurants can do.

But Joyce added that photos, posted by potential gubernatorial candidate Geoff Diehl of the Feb. 13 Lincoln Day breakfast, showed several violations that warranted a warning.

When not at tables, guests need to be wearing masks, while self-service buffets and microphones are forbidden, she said. She added that no more than six guests can sit at a table. And private events at the time were limited to a total of ten people.

Owners Joe and Eleanor Greene acknowledged the problems. "It did look bad," Joe Greene acknowledged. He said more people than expected showed up and the restaurant didn't have enough staffers on hand. "It didn't end well."

BPD Det. Eddie Hernandez said that on a followup visit on Saturday, there were no problems.

The board also issued a warning to Delfino on South Street for overcrowding on Saturday. Hernandez said the restaurant had 30 patrons inside when it should have had no more than 20 under a 40% capacity rule that expired last night.

Owner Stephen Judge apologized and said it was a misunderstanding; when he heard Gov. Baker announce the easing of restrictions last week, he thought the new rules were in effect over the weekend.

Joyce said the board will send guidance about the new restrictions to all of the city's restaurants sometime today.

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Comments

I always thought that place had a Republican stank.

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Should it be cancelled?

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You don’t have to, but I am.

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Should it face the free market principles of people choosing not to go there if they are philosophically opposed to spending money that goes to this ownership group.

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Is the Ward 20 Republican Committee, taken over by Trumpists last year, going to be fined as well for organizing and holding an event in clear violation of the law? They're all about law and order after all...

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To get an end date on the mask mandate. Otherwise it starts to feel like the Chocolate War or something, with compliance for compliance's sake, everyone acting like some kind of cop, and the stench of authoritarianism everywhere you go.

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give me a break - doing an open buffet and sharing a mic with a large group of unmasked people is clearly the type of event where people can give each other COVID. Asking restaurants to comply with health codes is not authoritarian. Did you also want the city to stop asking them to hold foods at the right temps??

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Call me crazy, but maybe we should wait for the ongoing pandemic to stop killing people.

https://twitter.com/alexjgoldstein/status/1366230715768143872

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I think Dan is asking this question in good faith, and that it deserves a discussion. I would say at some magical percentage of people that are vaccinated we could make some changes? Somewhere over 50 percent?

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There's still a lot of questioning about whether vaccinated people can spread the virus, and whether the current vaccines are as effective about emerging variants.

A better benchmark would be a prolonged drop in the COVID-19 measurements in city sewage, and a significant, prolonged drop in positive test percentages. It would be stupid to abandon masks and social distancing without these measurements showing that the actual virus is no longer a pandemic.

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I just googled a bunch of other notorious causes of death such as firearms and automobiles and the annual tolls are nowhere close.

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that no one is asking when we can get rid of seatbelt laws or speed limits now that deaths are slightly lower since those were implemented.

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Are you thinking that there should be a state law (instead of an emergency regulation) that mandates mask wearing in public in perpetuity?

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The point is that observing that a policy is working to save lives is not a good reason to stop doing that policy even if people find it annoying or inconvenient.

Now, if conditions change, such that we're not in an active global pandemic, then we can remove the mask mandate. Or to return to the car comparison, if cars are somehow made in a way that seatbelts are no longer necessary for safety, then I would be fine with removing seatbelt mandates. But "deaths are dropping so we must be fine to stop doing the thing that led to deaths dropping" is a bad rationale for these things.

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That there is more to this than inconvenience. It is a vast social change with various and sundry ramifications. Especially if you generally enjoy people and social life, enjoy hugs and handshakes, seeing others' faces, etc.

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But also - you don't get to do any of those things if you're dead, so...

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That's my takeaway from what you wrote, as we will never be free from airborne diseases.

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it looks like most of the states that don't have mask mandates have lower death rates per 100,000 than MA.

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To get an end date on the pandemic. Ultimately, though, it’s the interplay between the virus and our response measures that sets the timetable.

How would you like public health officials or civic leaders to set that end date, Dan?

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And I usually dont traffic in know-nothingism and bullshit. But man is it getting old, especially if you have to wear one all day at work. Is it still helping? How much does it help? How's the vaccination coming along? Can you opt out of the mask thing once you get vaccinated? Why or why not? Are we really going to be wearing them forever? Let's all try a little harder for awhile and then be done with the godforsaken masks. I suggest July 1, 2021. Sorry to be an a-hole. God forgive me.

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I think wearing bras is getting old ... but my not wearing one wouldn't potentially kill other people.

Buck up - we are grownups, we can handle this!

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There must be some crowd-pleasingly snarky comment to be made about the meaninglessness of your analogy without photographic evidence, one that would net me some of the precious thumbs-up approval that my survival requires, but I don’t seem to be able to formulate it, alas.

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But man is it getting old,

Oh, well, in that case, throw away your masks everyone! Dan Farnkoff is really getting sick of wearing them, you know? Like, all day! At work! He's sick of it, so can you all just stop trying to keep from killing people so that he won't be annoyed anymore?

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That's the spirit

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Asian countries - you know, all of the ones that are doing way better than us - wear masks a lot in regular, pre-pandemic times. If you have the sniffles and aren't sure if it's allergies/a cold, if you're getting over the flu but might still be contagious, they just mask up. So much so that masks were a cool fashion item and were a go-to when you were having a breakout or weren't feeling like makeup that day.

I'd personally be happy if we get to that point. I might just wear masks forever. It's nice feeling like you're breathing in less of everybody else's gross secretions all the time.

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An end to the mask mandate based on some criteria rationally related to risk, for example, when the test positivity rate is below x and the new case rate is below y and both numbers have been decreasing foe a month, makes sense. Picking an arbitrary calendar date is ridiculous.

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... because I'm pretty sure it's going to take all summer to get the adult Masshole population vaccinated.

The latest briefing from Dr. Fauci has MS & HS aged kids getting vaccinated in September; grade schoolers not until 2nd semester next year. I know that both Moderna and Pfizer are in stage 2/3 trials for ages 5-18 (5-16 for Pfizer); I assume J&J will be real soon now. But we're not going to see decent results for several months, and then another month for EUA to be granted. So much for summer camp (just got another e-mail cancelling for 2021).

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OMG I haven't even thought about The Chocolate War since probably 1985 when I did a book report for school, but that is a spot on comparison. I mean, I wear my mask in public, wash my hands, social distance and all that. I am not a "Maga" person whatsoever. I wouldn't dream of complaining or giving retail workers a hard time. I plan on getting the vaccine for sure when I can. That said, in the back of my mind I can't help but feel like there's something sinister and nefarious going on behind the scenes, like this is some kind of massive social experiment or prank like the movie "The Wave" that I had to watch in school in the 80s, and that the whole pandemic thing is just the government and the 1% having a good laugh while testing the general population to see how much we can take. One year ago, I was terrified of covid. I had seen the news footage like everyone else of people collapsing on the streets of Wuhan, the people trapped on the cruiseship in Japan, and I was glued to the TV whenever Andrew Cuomo or Dr. Fauci or Baker gave a press conference. Today, after losing several nears and dears to suicide over the past year and seeing quite a few beloved local businesses go under, I feel very aloof and cynical about it. Perhaps like so many others, the "new normal" is beginning to take it's toll on my mental hygiene, or perhaps there is something darker to it. I guess we'll all find out sooner or later!

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in the back of my mind I can't help but feel like there's something sinister and nefarious going on behind the scenes, like this is some kind of massive social experiment or prank like the movie "The Wave" that I had to watch in school in the 80s, and that the whole pandemic thing is just the government and the 1% having a good laugh while testing the general population to see how much we can take

Nah.

But it would make a really crappy dystopian YA novel with the most implausible worldbuilding since "The Hunger Games". And, since most nominal adults are not even reading on that level, but are actually watching movies made from crappy dystopian YA novels, I think it's a great idea and will write the screenplay for you.

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With respect and recognition of your experience is what you experienced and your thoughts are your thoughts, a response of snark and/or dismissiveness is not the right answer.

But I have to confer that your intrusive thoughts that "maybe the real disease is the 1%/government/non-COVID reasons" is incorrect. Yes, the damage you saw was deaths by suicide and losses of businesses rather than deaths and injuries directly by COVID. But let me remind that COVID is a real disease. I personally know people who caught it and had to be hospitalized to survive. I am "lucky" the deaths are not people I personally know, but my friends who personally know them - and I don't even mean people who just very elderly and already sick either (though they still count too). Those are just as real as your experiences too.

I have to also point that that even if the government did absolutely nothing as you imply what the government should with your expression of grief of lost business and suicides, the economy would still get impacted. People mention Sweden a lot, but all reports still say businesses got hurt all-the-same. When most businesses run on a few percent margins, even a few percent of people stepping back means a large economic contraction - and a lot more than just a few percent of people voluntarily stepped back.

Also, if we truly did behave the same as like nothing is going on, logic says the hospital loads would not be less than what we had. Logic have to say it would be more, right? In that alternative timeline, that means it would have went over true capacity.

On some level, if you followed as much as you said, I presume you are aware of that. But let me try to remind that. What we saw was not conspiracy of elites. What we saw was the worse of both worlds. Not enough to truly enjoy the results of preventing spread, yet still plenty of economic fallout and mental anguish (though again, much would have still happen anyways).

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It will end when we reasonably believe the threat has been eliminated or has dissipated, and for that, we cannot have a timeline. We will know it when we get there. It is a known unknown right now. Masks are a necessity, they are working, to help us overcome this challenge.

I can't imagine that wartime blackout mandates and rationing of food and other goods during WW2 were all too enjoyable to live through, but they were necessary to ensure the safest and most preferable outcome possible.

I am willing to do what we need to do to get through this crisis as best we can, and I cannot see another reasonable or responsible way to proceed. I hope you will do the same. We are only as strong as our weakest link, and our pace is only as fast as our slowest hiker.

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is a good one. It's no good saying "I'm doing my part with the rationing and blackouts, and I know it's all necessary, but I would like a timetable for when it's going to end." There's no one who can answer that, except to say that it will end when we win.

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100 days, which I assume means 100 days from his inauguration.

I do have to agree with the others. No one, aside from the odd minority that one can find with anything, likes wearing masks all the time, but I also think it was dangerous for the President o say that the end of April is the end of the time he wants you to wear masks. Go with the science.

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But now I'll remember him as the idiot who documented his breaking of a state mandate by posting pictures on social media.

One of my major requirements for voting for a candidate is "not an idiot". So I won't be voting for him should he run.

Unless, of course, he ends up against an even bigger idiot. What are the odds of that?

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Wait, really? He did run against Warren in 2018.

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I must have been unimpressed.

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Some may be interested in this opposing point of view. And then... some may just be plain outraged. This may be the roots of this hubbub, and the Facebook point of ignition.

https://turtleboysports.com/rozzy-rand-paul-gets-boston-globe-city-officials-to-go-after-west-roxbury-restaurant-after-shaming-people-for-eating-and-allowing-geoff-diehl-to-host-political-event-inside/

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