Will buffets suffer from fear of infection such that people stay away?
I've never been a germophobe such that I really worry about the sanitary condition of my hotel room, toilet seat or cutlery at a restaurant. Having worked in food service, I know that based on what I have seen and done in the back of the house in a restaurant I know that we all have built up resistance to most of the germs that you can find in public places. Otherwise we would all be dead already. "Sanitized for your protection" has always been a joke, just like "contact-free delivery" is today. If you've ever worked in food service you know that these are meaningless phrases.
That being said, I'm not sure whether I would queue up in the buffet line along with the great unwashed. The people behind the counter making the food are just as contagious whether it's in the back room or on the buffet table. I'm going to catch or be immune from what they've got regardless.
But we're all germophobes now. We've been conditioned, like it or not, without being argumentative, that we all need to mask up, keep our distance, and wash our hands down to the bone. We never did that before, with diseases out there that were probably just as transmittable as COVID.
I'll happily go to a buffet once my vaccine has given a sense of immunity from COVID, whether that's true or not, just like I did before. But maybe there won't be as many people in line in front of me.
I've seen stories about fast food places that make sick workers show up this past year, so yeah, food preparation places are suspect. I'm sticking to frozen foods & canned foods at the supermarket. Maybe I'll get a Subway sandwich at WalMart because there's no line and he wears gloves.
Whatever the potential is of getting COVID after vaccination - and there has certainly not been enough time for reliable studies to have been done to come up with any verifiable number - people will vote with their feet, based on what they think is true, whether it is or not.
My guess is that buffets will be just as popular as they ever were, once people get comfortable with whatever risk they present, over and above the Subway sandwich at Walmart.
I worked at Burger King a long time ago. In spite of what I know goes on there, I still go there on occasion. I am certain that your Walmart Subway operates in a similar fashion. You would be amazed at where that guy's gloves were just before he started making your sandwich. I would not be.
In the new calculation on the part of management as to whether or not buffets will come back, a different customer attitude will need to be factored in. What the public will accept will matter.
Consider the situation at the blackjack table. Will partitions and three-player-only setups survive? At some point the hard plastic separators will come down and the missing chairs will return. The proper emoluments will be paid to the regulators and the rules will be relaxed or ignored.
Just like eight decks and 6:5 blackjacks, the customers will decide for themselves whether or not what they are being offered makes sense to them.
Buffets will come back, and people will queue up just like they always did.
I had a next to zero chance of contracting a deadly disease when going out last decade. I will have an ever present chance of contracting a deadly disease for the next 5 to 10 years or more.
I'd be interested in seeing the numbers that validate that statement.
I would imagine, like me, that your likelihood of contracting any disease increases over time as you age and your health declines, regardless of how well you take care of yourself. Unless you are Tom Brady.
Normal aging issues aside, my assumption is that keeping current with vaccines, whether it's for the flu or COVID, will keep the chances of contracting a deadly disease pretty much uniform over time. My guess is that the process which created the various COVID vaccines, much more quickly than has been the case with other maladies, will be adapted to the creation and manufacture of new vaccines, be it for COVID or anything else.
The nanny state will certainly use the pandemic to insist that we knuckle down on masks and social distancing for any and all new crises, justified or not. It was unusual and disconcerting to see someone walking around wearing a mask, pre-COVID. In some jurisdictions we are now subject to arrest if we are NOT masked.
Regardless of whether you agree with the restriction, no smoking rules reduce your exposure to secondhand smoke, and so your chances of getting lung cancer are much less than they used to be. Continuing restrictions, justified or not, will probably protect you against more than just COVID.
One thing that continues to be eroded is our being allowed to think and act for ourselves, and to take personal responsibility for our own health and well-being. I think that the tradeoff for this sacrifice is that, in fact, you will actually have a lesser chance of "contracting a deadly disease for the next 5 to 10 years or more."
Whether or not your life will be better for that? Hard to say.
...But we're all germophobes now...
No, we're not.
I will return to Vegas buffets as soon as I can. Hopefully Makino! As a vaccinated person, I think my risk from random violence on the Vegas strip will far exceed my coronavirus risk next October/ November when I plan on being in Vegas. I think once a few casinos open up buffets, the rest will follow. I know enough gamblers that are extremely worthwhile to the casino that drop hundreds and likely thousands for that free buffet. Sadly, I think I知 one of them!
I am way more worried about vacation ruining pathogens other than coronavirus when it comes to buffets.
The most sick I have ever been in my life was coming back from Vegas in 2017. It hit me during the flight back, and hit my fiancé a few days later. She ended up in the hospital, and I was hours away from going myself but was finally able to keep some fluids down.
I am 90% sure it was Norovirus from chipotle, but I壇 have to imagine that buffets can easily breed the same nasties.