Let us celebrate the New York restaurateurs who are using creativity and gumption to try to survive unpredictable government shutdowns.

The New York Post asked readers to “tell the Post about the most creative NYC outdoor dining setup.”

The Post explained:

The Big Apple’s outdoor dining scene will be a winter wonderland this year, thanks to creative restaurant owners who have been forced to adapt to the ever-changing coronavirus restrictions imposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo

To help illustrate the amazing work being done by restaurateurs, The Post is asking its readers to take snapshots of the most imaginative set-ups they have seen and email them to [email protected].

I had forgotten how much I like to read about restaurants.

Daniel Boulud’s restaurant Daniel has set up “Boulud Sur Med bungalows” designed to “take diners’ minds off of the frigid temperatures,” as they enjoy Michelin-starred cuisine.

Nougatine at 1 Central Park West snagged the top rating: glass-wrapped “cabins” with a view of Columbus Circle.

Another favorite is Don Angie’s Greenwich Village Italian eatery: the restaurant replicated the curtained booths famous inside the restaurant.

I am not noting this story simply because I am hungry to go out to restaurants (though I am), but because what the owners and staffs at these eateries are demonstrating is the nimbleness of business—capitalism, if you will.

It is quite a contrast to the slowness and heavy-handedness of government.

There is also a note of welcome optimism, another hallmark of capitalistic ventures.

Not all restaurateurs have the resources to respond this way. And nobody knows if even these restaurants can withstand a New York winter and live for a better day.

The state government has not to date offered satisfactory explanations of the science behind the COVID-19 restaurant lockdowns.

An article in Reason reported that, based on data, only 1.3 percent of COVID infections come from restaurants and bars. Yet Governor Cuomo’s edicts closing restaurants may well be the end of many beloved New York eateries.

Jacob Sallum had an explanation of why politicians are so insistent of lockdowns: they want to be seen as “doing something.” Sallum begins:

“I’m not sure we know what we’re doing,” San Mateo County Health Officer Scott Morrow recently confessed, ­referring to the myriad puzzling ­restrictions state and local governments have imposed in the name of fighting COVID-19. Morrow’s doubts are striking, because last spring, he joined other San Francisco Bay Area officials in imposing the nation’s first lockdowns, which he still thinks were justified.

Morrow’s remarkable statement, which he posted on his department’s website this month, shows that politicians and bureaucrats are still struggling to justify edicts that are often arbitrary and scientifically dubious. A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, many of them have yet to digest the dangers of carelessly exercising their public-health powers.

Although research in other countries has shown that K-12 schools aren’t an important source of viral transmission, they remain closed in California and many other jurisdictions, largely because of resistance from teachers unions. “The adverse effects for some of our kids will likely last for generations,” Morrow warned.

Morrow, who has served as San Mateo County’s health officer since 1992, also criticized the stay-at-home order that California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued on Dec. 3, which he said is “rife with inconsistencies.” 

 In other words, the lockdowns are sort of like busy work for politicians, who must be seen as doing something, even if they don’t quite know what they are doing.

We want everybody to be responsible and respectful of others in this time, but it will be shameful if we come to find that a vibrant part of our lives has been extinguished by arbitrary rules, with no explanations offered.