On St. Patrick’s Day, Tuesday, March 17, Gov. Roy Cooper ordered all the bars closed and all the restaurants in the state to cease dine-in service.
Or, as it turns out, all the eating establishments except at least one.
The cafeteria in the state legislative building was allowed, not only to remain open, but to continue to allow people to eat at the tables.
So, with all the privately owned eating establishments in the state closed by the governor’s order for the health and safety of the people of North Carolina, the legislature, which was reportedly exempt from that order, chose to keep its own government-owned eating establishment open, with both dine-in and takeout meals provided to customers.
That is, until it was discovered earlier this week that working for the North Carolina state legislature does not make a person immune to COVID-19.
A worker in the legislative building cafeteria tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, April 1, and at that point the decision was made to close the legislative building cafeteria.
It’s hard to imagine a better example of “do as we say, not as we do” than keeping eating establishment in a government-owned building open, allowing legislators and legislative employees to continue to dine in an eating establishment, just as the rest of North Carolinians had done without much thought before the order from Cooper on March 17.
It would be interesting and informative to know what other aspects of the orders coming out of Raleigh in response to the coronavirus – which have disrupted lives and put people out of work and companies out of business all over the state – that the government itself is ignoring.
State Rep. Jon Hardister, who is the House majority whip, was contacted about the legislative building cafeteria and said he would provide more information about the cafeteria as soon as it was available.