Directly from the office of the Mayor is a press release declaring the official next step in the relaxation of quarantine protocols. Specifically, this announcement is lifting the restrictions—for restaurants—on the serving of alcoholic beverages via to-go methods including takeout and drive-thrus, between 8 a.m and 11 p.m. This is great news for many New Orleanian establishments, as it's no secret that alcohol is a big player in most of our eateries' revenue. This more easy-going regulation is now in place as of this past weekend, and hopefully, other restrictions will continue to ease up, as we all search with weary hands for a return to some semblance of social normalcy. For now, this new rule only applies to eateries, though everyone is waiting anxiously for bars to join the ranks of go-drink-approved businesses.
The announcement also came with other joyful bits of news. Taking a stroll out to Audubon Park might net you the now-unfamiliar sight of small children enjoying themselves on a playset. Part of the Mayor's mandate also allows for the safe reopening of playgrounds and other contact-heavy public equipment. Additionally, student athletes can rejoice, as early October will herald the return of sports and public competitions in high schools. Practice for contact-based sports is already being allowed as a form of preparation. With any luck, this will not result in a significantly higher case frequency among high schoolers, and the education system will be able to continue trying to regain its bearings.
The City of New Orleans is making measured decisions and steps towards reopening based on their monitoring of case numbers. It is allowing schools to begin in-person education once again, as well as the aforementioned return of sports and practices. While the fact remains that we are still knee-deep in a reopening plan, perceptible shifts like these in daily routines serve as a sort of reminder that there is, in fact, at light at the end of the tunnel—even if that light isn't quite shining yet.