That may sound radical, but it makes scientific sense and even has a political precedent. We pay farmers not to cultivate some fields (in theory, at least, to protect the environment), so why not pay bars that cannot operate safely to shut down (to protect public health)? [...]
Back when we knew little about the novel coronavirus, the government responded with a hammer. The Paycheck Protection Program treated all small businesses equally, providing them with loans to shut down so long as they paid their employees. Now we can use more delicate instruments. [...]
Some states have allowed restaurants to open indoors at 25 percent or 50 percent capacity [but] "No bar or restaurant can make it at that capacity -- on the best days in normal years, our profit margin is 10 percent."
Bars and other venues that depend on drinks are not essential services. We want them to survive so that in the future we can enjoy them. So why not pay owners who cannot keep their businesses afloat safely during the pandemic an average of their normal monthly income to shut down for some months? They would keep paying their employees and help break the chain of coronavirus transmission.
"Coming?" It is VERY MUCH NIGH.