519 Bar, packed, on a Saturday night. 

With North Carolina governor Roy Cooper prohibiting all gatherings inside of restaurants and bars, some businesses who do not have an option to offer takeout food, such as Club 519 in downtown Greenville, are facing an uncertain time.

Rob Waldorn, the owner of Club 519, said that due to the government’s ruling that all restaurants and bars will be closed except for takeout will hurt his business.

The government ruling comes as a preventative measure to try and slow the spread of COVID-19, also known as coronavirus. Waldron, however, said he has no source of income now that he is no longer allowed to operate the bar.

Waldron said that currently, the only assistance that has been offered by the government to him as a business owner is possibly a loan.

“I don’t need a loan, I just need to be open,” Waldron said.

The main question that Waldron said he has was why certain businesses, such as Walmart and Lowes, which have been packed due to people panic buying, are allowed to stay open while his bar must close.

Waldron pointed out that people are constantly going to places such as gas stations and superstores, and that these businesses are allowed to stay open while he is forced to close.

“To pretend like you’re going to do that much good by closing bars and restaurants while every other kind of business is allowed to be open and people are continuing to go is disingenuous,” Waldron said.

Political expediency is the main reason that Waldron said he believes that bars and restaurants were the main businesses targeted.

Waldron said he feels that the closure of small businesses was not the correct move to be made by the government.

“What we should have done is a huge effort to quarantine those who are in danger, and then have everyone else go to work. For God’s sake they destroyed the American economy over this and it’s hysteria,” Waldron said.

While Waldron said he did entertain the fact that he may be wrong and the virus may have a larger effect on America as a whole, he said he currently believes that the whole situation is being blown out of proportion.

Freshman business major Charlie Price said it is difficult to watch small and local business owners struggle due to the coronavirus.

“It’s really disheartening to know that these business owners are now out of a job for an indefinite amount of time due to coronavirus,” Price said.

While he said he feels bad for the businesses closing, Price does believe that the closing of all sit in restaurants was the right move by the government as a way to slow the spread of coronavirus.

The proper move, according to Price, is to have the government intervene and assist any businesses that have been affected by the mandatory closings so that the owners and employees continue to have cash flow.

“The government can’t just simply put these people effectively out of business and then not offer them anything except for a loan or unemployment is awful and is really leaving these people out to dry,” Price said.

Sophomore political science major Chloe Gervais said that restaurants closing downtown, while difficult, is the right move to be made by the government.

Gervais pointed out the fact that so little is known about coronavirus and how it may mutate or spread from individual to individual.

“We don’t really know what it’s capable of yet I feel, like maybe it really can have an adverse effect on younger people but the small amount of testing doesn’t really let us know who has it,” Gervais said.

While most young people aren’t going to die from the virus, Gervais said, it’s important to note that it still has all the symptoms of the flu, so it is not as easy of a time as most people are selling it.

The main thing that she wants from people is common sense social distancing while also not entering a complete panic.

“People should stay at home, but at the same time I really don’t think people panic buying all the toilet paper at the grocery store or anything like that. Getting takeout from a restaurant is the main way to support any kind of business right now I guess,” Gervais said.

Gervais did concede that the fact that there is no way to support certain businesses, such as bars, is saddening and she wishes that there was some way to financially support these establishments.

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