In an appearance on Fox News on Sunday morning, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) had some, well, unorthodox advice for Americans hunkered down against the coronavirus this weekend: “If you’re healthy, you and your family, it’s a great time to go out and go to a local restaurant, likely you can get in easy.”
“If you’re healthy, you and your family, it’s a great time to go out and go to a local restaurant, likely you can get in easy. Let’s not hurt the working people in this country…go to your local pub” pic.twitter.com/jXdhOfwe9R
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) March 15, 2020
Nunes was (rightly) telling people not to hoard food like crazed preppers. He was also right to say you should support local businesses right now. But his casual “go to a local pub” is, of course, idiotic. He should’ve known better, considering Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt’s equally dumb and now-deleted tweet from Saturday night:
It also flies in the face of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the federal government’s leading expert on infectious diseases, telling people on the Sunday morning shows to stop going out—and that he wouldn’t go to a restaurant right now.
NIH’s Dr. Fauci said he personally wouldn’t go to a restaurant right now or get on a plane for a number of reasons including his age. Avoiding enclosed, crowded spaces is key. #coronavirus @FaceTheNation
— margaret brennan (@margbrennan) March 15, 2020
The point is to flatten the curve. To do so, we need to proactively socially distance, even if that means avoiding—gasp!—small amounts of pleasure on the weekends. It will save lives. During this time, local restaurants and bars and the whole economy could take a hit. Yes, like Nunes said, try to support them. But take it to go! Batch order some broth or coffee beans from a spot around the corner. Pay your dog walker even if you don’t need them. Don’t. Go. Out.