Morgan Timms/Taos News

Michelle Martinez hands out to-go orders to customers July 15 at Orlando's in El Prado. Taos restaurants were hoping to reopen for indoor dining, but a surge in coronavirus cases in the state has halted that plan.

"Between the devil and the deep blue sea" - a dilemma, faced with two dangerous alternatives. Here we are, on the precarious edge between disasters in public health and the economy.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has, in my opinion, shown intelligence and courage in imposing fact-based restrictions to slow the spread of the highly infectious COVID-19 virus. New Mexico has so far avoided the medical catastrophes facing our neighbors, but with an influx of visitors from high-infection states, our numbers are rising, so the governor has reinstituted strict requirements.

The public health order effective July 13 again prohibits indoor dining in restaurants and breweries, though both may operate outdoor seating at 50 percent maximum capacity and continue to offer carry out, pickup and delivery services.

Some restaurant operators and their professional associations are pushing back hard at requirements they say are unfair, punitive and threatening to their economic survival. Other restaurateurs, however, have spoken out in support of what's best for their communities and employees first and for business in the long term.

Bravo and thanks to Taos' own Orlando's New Mexican Café for this post on their website: "What a bumpy road it's been for everyone. So we've decided to go back to strictly carryout. Customers will be allowed to sit on the patio at 50 percent occupancy and also order beer and wine. We are able to do full service but needed to listen to our employees and this is how they feel safer."

Mya Coursey


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