C&C Coffee and Kitchen of Aurora, Colorado, opened its doors this past Mother's Day Sunday, to a throng of customers. One reporter posted a video from inside C&C, appearing to show a business ignoring social distancing norms. Customers stand and sit shoulder-to-shoulder. No one is wearing a mask.
According to a Washington Post article,county health department officials quickly shut down the restaurant. Governor Jared Polis suspended its license the next day. He reprimanded the business's undermining the public effort against the COVID-19 threat.
C&C claims a civil disobedience posture. The restaurant tweeted that it's standing up for "the Constitution and against the overreach of our governor."
Colorado's "Safer at Home" policy has limited non-essential business operations since March 17. The state prohibits eat-in dining at restaurants and coffee houses. Under the law, C&C had been able to offer curbside service to its customers.
The Colorado incident follows a trend of small business flashpoints across the country. A salon owner in Texas received a prison sentence for reopening early, though the state's supreme court later commuted it. A Florida barber shop opened for business ahead of schedule, citing financial woes.
These miniature dramas are playing out amid persistent economic consequences from quarantining. The unemployment rate has skyrocketed to 15 percent. Millions who relied on an employer now have no health insurance in the middle of a health crisis.
At the same time, pandemic casualties mount continually. Recent estimates place the figure in the U.S. at about 80,000 deaths. Over 1,000,000 Americans have been infected. Considering the lack of coronavirus testing kits, the precise number could be significantly higher.
New Orleans plans to reopen on May 15, or this Friday. City officials hasten to point out that reopening doesn't mean business as usual.
Mayor Cantrell recently detailed plans for scheduled reopenings. The city has limited restaurants and other businesses to as little as 25 percent maximum capacity. Certainly, guidelines will recommend that people resuming public life wear masks and maintain a minimum distance of six feet from other people.