Colorado restaurant rebels against stay-at-home order

Salute to C&C Coffee and Kitchen, a Colorado restaurant that unabashedly opened yesterday in defiance of Governor Jared Polis’s stay-at-home order.

“We are standing for America, small businesses, the Constitution and against the overreach of our governor in Colorado!!” the restaurant tweeted.

A sign on the door read, “ATTENTION: Our freedom doesn’t end where your fear begins. If you are afraid to be within 6 feet of another person, do not enter this business!”

Many citizens of Castle Rock, Colorado seem to share these views about freedom, for the line to place orders wrapped around the building, and the tables and patio were full. According to owner April Arellano, approximately 500 customers showed up, almost double the number she typically sees on Mother’s Day.

“I’m so happy so many people came out to support the Constitution and stand up for what is right,” Arellano said. “We did our time. We did our two weeks. We did more than two weeks… and we were failing. We had to do something.”

“I know a lot of things are ran by fear,” she added. “I don’t have that fear.”

These sentiments make perfect sense and are something Americans should live by as the country emerges from its government-imposed lockdown.

Those who are fearful of catching the coronavirus – whether because they are in the over-60 age group, have lung problems or compromised immune systems, or simply would rather play it safe – can simply avoid going to businesses or other public places that are expected to be crowded. They can receive groceries, household items, and prescriptions (if needed) via delivery. Or perhaps some restaurants and stores will cater to the more risk-averse and limit their capacity so that a 6-foot distance between people can be maintained.

At the same time, people who do not have as much fear of catching the virus must be free to live their lives and run their businesses in the way that they choose, just as April Arellano and her customers did on Sunday. Placing a sign on the door warning people not to enter if they are afraid of being within 6 feet of another person is a great way to enable people to make informed decisions in managing their risk. Customers who are willing to take the risk of being inside a crowded restaurant can do so, while those who would rather not take the risk can choose not to go inside.

The bottom line is that people with and without fear have the right to live according to their own values. Those on the more risk-averse end of the spectrum have no right to impose their judgment on others, but unfortunately that is what has been happening all over the world for weeks and months as governments have imposed restrictions on people’s privacy, freedom of assembly, and freedom of movement in an effort to combat the virus. Those who prioritize safety have the right to take any measures they deem advisable to reduce their risk, but they do not have the right to restrict the activities of others in an attempt to reduce their risk.

Therefore, C&C Coffee and Kitchen did absolutely nothing wrong by opening. The owners, employees, and customers should be saluted for their bravery and defiance.