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March 15, 2020 11:45 AM UTC

Mayor Mike Coffman's Interesting COVID Advice: Dine Out!

  • by: Colorado Pols

As government entities large and small across the globe respond to the widening COVID-19 outbreak, urging and in many cases forcing public gatherings to a halt in an effort to “flatten the curve” of disease transmission beneath the capacity of public health systems to cope at any one time, former GOP Congressman and Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman has a rather different bit of advice for his constituents: get out there and enjoy some local dining!

This advice appears to run diametrically counter to the agreed upon best practices for preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus. Governors in other states including Illinois and Ohio are reportedly considering an order to close bars and restaurants. Yesterday, Gov. Jared Polis ordered ski resorts in Colorado closed for one week. Currently the state is asking all gatherings over 250 people be cancelled–a figure admittedly larger than the capacity of small restaurants Coffman wants to “help.”

Were it not for the fact that small businesses including restaurants really are suffering right now, and face an unpredictable future as the pandemic continues to grow, our condemnation of what looks like cavalier disregard for public health by the Mayor of Aurora would have no caveats whatsoever. All things considered, well-intentioned but seriously misguided is how this recommendation from “Mayor Mike” to get out there and dine local is most likely to be judged–and that’s presuming the best.

At worst, Mike Coffman just prioritized making money over public health. And that’s…well, it’s Trumpian.


29 thoughts on “Mayor Mike Coffman’s Interesting COVID Advice: Dine Out!

    1. My wife and I plan to do a lot of that in the coming weeks — just yesterday after reading that Chook (delicious Aussie-style roast chicken) will now let you pick up curbside if you call ahead, I placed an online order.  I decided to brave going inside to pickup at the bar.  Where just a week earlier the place was packed, last night, social distancing appeared to be in effect, as I saw the dining and bar areas sparsely populated at 6pm.

      I also have to commend Next Door in the Eastbridge Stapleton location.  When we went there for lunch yesterday, they provided us with sanitary wipes, and the bartender was wearing latex gloves.  We didn't have a problem finding a table, as they were nearly deserted.

      Will we avoid crowded bars and restaurants?  Yes. 

      Will we do more take-out?  You bet.

      But as long as we are healthy, and take the recommended precautions, we're not quite at the point of becoming shut-ins.

      1. Just one thing about being "healthy."  There's evidence, although folks are placing differing amounts of emphasis on it, that infected individuals can transmit the virus before they start showing symptoms.  Asymptomatic transmission obviously sucks, because folks don't avoid "healthy" people and "healthy" people don't avoid others.

        On average, it's taking about 5 days to show symptoms, with a range of 2 to 11ish.

        1. Understood.  But since neither of us are shaking anyones' hands, kissing them, or sneezing and coughing (and not getting anywhere close to others that might be), I think we are being sufficiently prudent.

          Just briefly walking by someone that is infected does not transmit the virus.

      2. NextDoor in West Washington Park has had several offers from younger, healthy people to grocery shop for elders who are more at risk. It's nice to see that forum being used for its intended purpose and not just for bitching and complaining.

          1. The Facebook group “Help Needed in Denver Metro COVID19 is for those who want to offer help, or who need help”. 

            Sample posts: Denver Water is not shutting off due to non-payment during this crisis.

            Elderly disabled man in UHills needs food and cleaning supplies. 

            People offering toilet paper, ideas for alternatives to tp.

            Rumor quashing ( no there is no nationwide quarantine Wednesday). 


  1. You could buy gift cards, but nah, let's do what this dumbfuck sociopath says instead. Maybe ol' Mike can commiserate with that shitball former Lt. governor of Florida, who took to Twitter to whine like a 3-year-old about how his family's vacation to Vail was "destroyed."

    It is a fundamental truth that there are damned few problems that can't be solved via swift and blinding violence. When the veneer of civilization starts to wears thin, as is happening now, dumbfucks like Mike Coffman and Jeff Kottkamp would do well to keep their yappers wholly shut, lest they provide too many reminders of that fundamental truth.

  2. I’m putting my natural inclination towards snarkiness on hold (as much as possible) — snark requires a degree of certainty about the subject, and all that relates to and is impacted by it, that I’m not willing to claim, here, right now.

    I went out to my favorite local Mediterranean restaurant last night — for pretty much the same reason.  That, plus I’m not in quarantine (yet), and I’m getting pretty damn tired of sitting at home alone, probably. (I also live alone, and don’t have regular contact with anyone in any higher-risk demographic that I need to worry about spreading it to.)

    Social distancing ≠ social isolation. (yet)

    I’m drastically curtailing contacts. Carrying tissue or paper towels with me wherever I go (I haven’t made skin contact with a door handle outside my house in a couple of weeks).  Used a straw that was provided at the restaurant (paper wrapped) instead of drinking directly from the glass (which I never do, because I hate and try to avoid single-use plastics — normally). Washing my hands like a religious-penance (two Our Fathers) before eating — and I’m doing that at home, too.  On and on and on . . . 

    Do you want everything closed (yet)?  Suppose a virus says to itself, “I’m gonna go after the eight people at that Ethiopian Restaurant that I normally wouldn’t go after standing in the check-out line at Sam’s, or Costco, or King Soopers, or Home Depot, or the gas stations — (on and on and on)” ???

    Wanna’ make fun of normally-vaccination-averse Polis because he’s also devined that 250 is some kind of magic virus-vector number?  223 is totally safe, right, but 265 and it’s instant middle-ages holy-fuck-we’re-all-gonna’-die contagion?

    Be safe.  Be smart — OK, for many folks “smart” is an impossible — be smarter; try anyway (please) for a little while. (We should be flattening the stupid-curve, too.) And, let’s cut everyone a little slack right now??? — except online, of course!

    We’re all in this together; a little grace, and forgiveness, and tolerance, and even consideration for the well-being of others (including fucking Republicans), is what really should be on everyone’s menu, right now . . . 

    Best wishes, all!


    PS:  I’ll be happy to return Coffman-bashing after things have returned to (the new) normal.

    PPS — unless he starts advocating french-kissing as a greeting; or invites CoronaDonnie to hold a rally in Aurora . . .

    PPPS — if you are the one source of 100%-certainty about what everyone of us should, or shouldn’t, be doing right now, please enlighten the rest of us — so we can be making fun of you, too!

    1. Dio: I’m with you on this, even if you do refer to me as a “fucking Republican.”  😉  😉  Of course, the real “fucking Republican” is Trump, since he’s now blaming Obama for Trump’s own lack of preparedness.

      Like you, I take this virus event very seriously. At the same time, I’ve traveled around the world and dealt with advisories by both the State Department and the CDC. The State Department, at least, tends to paint the worst possible picture of situations.

      My thought has always been: if it’s your time to go, doesn’t matter if one is in bed sleeping or driving on I-25, you’re toast. But, life cannot come totally to a screeching halt. Like you last night, I am dining out tonight with a friend (I’m healthy, but age 70 1/2, and in one of those higher risk demographics, but what of it?).

      Common sense has to prevail across the board. I’m fully into “social distancing” for the remainder of the month. I have almost nothing on my schedule through March 31, with most of my personal business already being on line. I have so much to do at home that I don’t mind sitting around. I do encourage all, however, to get out for walks. I went for 90 minutes this morning. Supposedly, Vitamin D (sunlight) helps to combat viruses. 

    2. “I’m gonna go after the eight people at that Ethiopian Restaurant that I normally wouldn’t go after standing in the check-out line at Sam’s, or Costco, or King Soopers, or Home Depot, or the gas stations — (on and on and on)” ???

      King Soopers employee in Colorado tests positive for coronavirus

      The associate worked at the 1950 Chestnut Place location in Denver, they last worked in the store on March 6.

      1. Kroger is a mighty bastion of capitalism, which means its decisions are inherently good. As always, profit-driven rational self-interest is The Way, The Truth and The Light.

        We can't let a public health issue distract us from the all-important fact is that socialism is evil.

  3. Well, the Denver Post said the same thing today.  They also said you can get together with others if you don’t have symptoms.  And, the Sports section on page 1 showed an 80 year old man shaking hands with a teenager.  All in contradiction of advice from Dr. Fauci, etc.  

    Darwin’s Law will take out the GOP if we’re lucky. 

    Stupid is, as stupid does.

  4. It's also important that folks understand the nature of exponential growth– a phase it's likely we're already in with the coronavirus in the US. This is a great little illustration.

    1. With all due respect to the point here

      — which is a good one, that I honestly do very much agree with —

      I’m just not completely convinced that over a billion people (2^30) in the US will perish in the next 30 weeks if Bernie breaks strict quarantine and attends tonight’s debate, or that over a billion people in the US will be saved if he doesn’t???

      (Sorry, I am working on it, but not snarking just isn’t always possible for me . . .)

      1. Wasn’t there a part where he talked about running out of healthy people?  Maybe I didn’t watch it through. Also, getting sick isn’t dying. Just for maybe 3-ish percent.

        1. Yep.  And IMO that was also Merkel’s 70% point.  She said, paraphrasing, that 70% in Germany will contract the virus, eventually.  That’s gonna’ happen — because there will likely be no vaccine in time to stop it (Jim Bakker notwithstanding).

          We’re “flattening” the curve (not eliminating it) by practicing social distancing; slowing down the immediate potential collapse of the medical “system” (ala Italy), and buying time for treatments for those seriously affected.  But 70%, plus or minus, are likely gonna’ get this virus.

          Social distancing is very important and valuable (as are all those other measures of reducing our chances of contracting and spreading the virus — today); but nobody should be kidding themselves, or us, that this virus is likely to just evaporate away by their (and everyone else) locking themselves in a closet for the next 30 days — even if that were somehow possible?

          1. Here’s some sobering math for Colorado: 

            Population: 5,800,000
            Hospital beds: 12,000 
            Hospitalization rate for people with COVID19: up to 15%.

            If only 5% of our population contracts the virus and the hospitalization rate of those 5% is just 5% (1/3 of what we know is a measured high point)  we’ll need 14,500 hospital beds FOR JUST COVID19, 2,500 more than we have available in total for all health care needs in the state.

            Any suggestions on who doctors choose who to treat and who to ignore? Maybe we can take the social distancing seriously and stay home for a couple of weeks?  

            The UBI for six months Pseudo proposed looks cheap in comparison. 

      2. There are upper limits … even the 3 waves of the 1918 Influenza appears to have infected less than half the US population.  I'm not a doctor or statistician … but I've been reading.  One widely quote estimate is from a Harvard epidemiologist who made it clear we didn't really know enough to know how far this would spread, but based on other coronavirus outbreaks, he expected 40-70% infection (without identifying a time line / single wave, single season, or longer). He later tweeted " 20% to 60% of adults becoming infected." 

        Further guesses I've seen say 10-15% need hospitalization (varies widely by age), ~5% critical cases, and 2%-2.5% die.  That math works out to low end extrapolations in the US population of 250 million adults:  20% infection is 50 million cases. 10% hospitalization is 5 million (in a nation with ~1 million hospital beds).  5% critical is 2,500,000 (in a nation with ~100,000 ICU beds, already running at least 70% full).  2% die would be 1 million. 

        ["Just a flu" equivalents this so far this year, according to CDC]:  36-51 million cases; 370,000-670,000 hospitalizations; 22,000-55,000 deaths. 

  5. Moving fast.

  6. So far I'm with Mike. I've been dining out at local establishments, but sitting with my wife off on our own, going during off-hours (often 4pm) to avoid crowding. For their part, the restaurants have been cleaning everything a lot and altering their serving procedures as needed.

    Closing all bars and restaurants is just a bit extreme; most of the little spots I frequent could fit under the new CDC 50 person max most days of the week.

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