Making it up as they go: LA County reopens outdoor dining, but says televisions have to be shut off

LOS ANGELES COUNTY, CA – When it comes to pandemic related restrictions, mandates, and guidelines, they have been more all over the place than the fictional character Carmen Sandiego.

But just when you think matters related to addressing the pandemic couldn’t get any more bizarre, you have Los Angeles County officials announcing that outdoor dining can resume at the likes of restaurants, breweries, and wineries – while also banning televisions from being turned on for the customers at these establishments.   

The long and short of how outdoor dining can resume at these sorts of venues is that no more than six people can be seated at a table, which said six people have to reside in the same household.

Outdoor tables at these establishments need to be spaced at least eight feet apart and any staff that interacts with customers needs to be wearing both a face covering and a face shield at all times.

Which now brings us to the ‘no television’ portion of this reopening of outdoor dining.

Upon reviewing the 11 page document from Los Angeles County’s Public Health Department titled “Protocol for Restaurants, Breweries and Wineries”, the following is mentioned about outdoor dining and televisions:

“Televisions or any other screens that are used to broadcast programming must be removed from the area or turned off. This provision is effective until further notice.”

That’s it.

There’s literally no context delivered as to the rationale behind banning televisions from being on for guests who opt in for some outdoor dining at eateries.

No details are shared as to why this television banning might be a necessary mandate for reopening outdoor dining for public health related concerns.

And when the public isn’t afforded an answer as to why something is instilled, that only leaves room for people to speculate.

Which is exactly what is happening, in that people are trying to make their best educated guess as to why the LA County Public Health Department would institute such a strange mandate.

Bill Melugin, who works for FOX LA, thinks that the health department is doing this no television stunt to stop people from watching the upcoming Super Bowl outdoors while patronizing their local eateries:

“It’s obvious the Health Department wants to stop people from watching the Super Bowl outdoors at sports bars/restaurants, so they are now going to force people to watch it indoors with private home gatherings by taking the outdoor option away. Absolutely brilliant.”

With said speculation making the rounds that this might be some sort of deterrent of watch parties transpiring outside of the likes of sports bars, others are chiming in noting that if people were to watch something like the Super Bowl at an outdoor dining facility with the television on – it would likely be less risky then perhaps someone hosting a Super Bowl watch party at their home.

Because chances are, most people don’t have a means inside of their home to segregate seated tables at an 8-foot distance from each other.

While some are touting that this banning of televisions for outdoor diners is likely in reference to the upcoming Super Bowl in early February, there are others who just can’t seem to figure out what this television ban is meant to address.

One Twitter user wrote:

“I [realize] they are making some tough decisions. But in the end, I don’t see how this helps.”

To which another Twitter user responded with:

“These are not ‘hard decisions.’  They are idiotic decisions without a grain of sense or science to back them up.  Which is what has been happening in CA since the beginning.”

Then of course there is the sect of the population that is just completely fed up with what they perceive to be as nonsensical mandates being put into place with no reason afforded at all.

And it’s hard to be critical of this sect of the population; as back in March of 2020 the likes of ‘two weeks to flatten the curve’ was the then-ongoing rhetoric, and now they’re being presented with ‘no television while you eat outside’ 10 months later.

And beyond those fed up or trying to speculate as to the rationale for this recent mandate placed upon restaurants offering outdoor dining, there are those online that are just engaging in all sorts of sarcastic takes on the matter.  

At this point, there are those just simply applying some make-up and a clown nose (proverbially speaking) because they feel like they’re just some part of the circus.

This is what happens when mandates are put into place without justification being afforded by officials.

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LET Unity

Earlier in January, we at Law Enforcement Today shared a report about how the Saint Patrick’s Day parade slated for March of 2021 has already been cancelled due to concerns over the pandemic. 

Here’s that previous report. 


PHILADELPHIA, PA – The organizers behind the Saint Patrick’s Day parade that takes place in Philadelphia have reportedly cancelled the event due to concerns over COVID-19. 

Apparently the St. Patrick’s Day parade that many have come to enjoy for some time now in Philadelphia has been prematurely shut down over two months in advance, as the 2021 celebration is occurring on March 17th. 

The reasoning, according to the St. Patrick’s Day Observance Association, is because of the pandemic.

Keep in mind, the parade was going to take place roughly on the 1-year anniversary of the infamous “15 days to flatten the curve”, while a vaccine is currently being distributed across the country. 

Nonetheless, in a statement provided by the parade organizers, the following was relayed regarding the cancellation: 

“After heartfelt consideration, the St. Patrick’s Day Observance Association has made the decision to cancel the 2021 Philadelphia Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and all events related to the parade.”

“This decision was made with significant consideration to the challenges and concerns that we continue to face with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

While the decision could very well be changed in the coming weeks or months, considering the time usually required to orchestrate said celebration likely means that if it isn’t reversed within the coming days then it’s likely not going to kick off. 


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Author: Gregory Hoyt

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