Throughout my COVID-19 experience, I have on a weekly basis, made a point to order take out or curbside pickup food from some of my favorite Sioux Falls restaurants. I will continue to do so, because, full disclosure, I won't be ready to go out to a restaurant for a while to come.

After reading a lengthy survey of 511 epidemiologists from around the country, in which they were asked about their comfort levels returning to normal activities, I know I'm not the only one.

Many of these people said, "until there's an effective vaccine or treatment first", they wouldn't even consider going to a concert, sporting event, or even religious services, for over a year. Six percent of these respondents said they'd never shake hands or hug anyone other than family members, ever again!

All of that being said, over half of these specialists responded that they would feel comfortable going out to eat at a dine-in restaurant somewhere in-between 3 to 12 months.

If you're there now, there are a few things you should do and a few that you shouldn't.

  • Do eat outdoors - Take advantage of summer weather. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) suggests restaurants offering outdoor seating with tables spaced 6 feet apart for good air circulation.
  • Do wear a mask - Even if the restaurant has implemented social distancing measures, you can't always be 6 feet away from everyone. Until you eat or drink, just keep your mask on.
  • Do wash your hands - I know, I know, it's common sense, but...
  • Do follow the restaurant's rules - Which could all be different from each other, (because that's the world we live in, and this is an ever-evolving situation, that's why!) so check their websites and Facebook pages and know what to expect.
  • Don't bring a large group - For now, it is suggested that you stick to family members or very close, and, small, groups of friends.
  • Don't touch - Avoid touching anything you really don't need to, including menus. See the restaurant's menu online, choose what you want and you're good to go.
  • Don't use cash - Debit and credit cards only, they are handled much less than cash and you can wipe them down before and after they are used.
  • Don't forget to enjoy the experience - Period!
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