Matteo Pangallo: Mission Cantina owner misplaces blame

Published: 2/22/2022 2:06:03 PM
Modified: 2/22/2022 2:05:40 PM

The owner of Mission Cantina is misplacing blame for his loss of business (“Eatery fined for mask violations,” Feb. 15). The fault does not lie with the Amherst Board of Health, medical professionals, or public health experts who are trying to mitigate the spread of COVID and thus save lives. These people are working hard to keep the community safe, in the face of efforts of people like him who simultaneously attempt to undermine those efforts and then complain about the need for them or about being held accountable for those attempts.

The fault for Mission Cantina’s loss of business lies with him, his staff who refuse to mask, and others like them, whose selfish decision has needlessly prolonged the pandemic and led to the death of nearly a million people in this country. If these people had followed guidelines about the tactics we had at our disposal — mask-wearing, social distancing, vaccinating — we would not need mandates.

If they had taken the pandemic seriously, and recognized the expertise of scientists and medical professionals, we would not still be facing wave after wave of outbreaks. Our kids would not have spent a year or more of their lives trying to learn off a computer screen. Our economy would not have taken such a terrible hit. Millions around the globe would not have died. Life, in short, could have gotten back to normal.

The article ends with two reckless, false claims by the restaurant owner: first, asserting that dietary supplements and sunshine can prevent COVID, and second, that “the vaccines are poisoned.” Both claims are not only untrue but dangerous. The Gazette had an ethical responsibility to point this out rather than simply give the last word to someone who lacks the scientific credentials and expertise to make such claims.

The kind of cavalier and uninformed attitude displayed by the owner of Mission Cantina indicates a disturbing lack of concern for the well-being of the community. It is that lack of concern that is to blame for the mandates, for the persistence of the virus, for the hospitalization and death of millions, and, of course, for his loss of business.

Matteo Pangallo



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