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Morning Poll: Are You Willing to Eat Inside a Restaurant Yet?

The restaurant business is hurting nationwide.

The pandemic has kept diners at home and contributed to the closure of thousands of restaurants. It has also prompted temporary restrictions on how restaurants operate, which in Virginia means no bar seating, reduced capacities, and increased cleaning expenses, among other things.

Here in Arlington, at least 17 restaurants have closed since the start of the pandemic; the most recent closures include Spirits of ’76 and Riverside Hot Pot in Clarendon, and Summers in Courthouse. Owners of restaurants that have closed, who have talked to ARLnow, have said that business — particularly indoor business — was greatly reduced, while the already-high rent stayed the same.

(There have been restaurant openings amid the carnage, however, including Colony Grill in Clarendon, Lee’s Sandwiches in Ballston, and Ruthie’s All-Day in Arlington Heights.)

What’s keeping diners away is pretty simple: it’s risky to dine out during a pandemic. Doing anything in an indoor, confined space without a mask, including eating, elevates one’s risk of contracting COVID-19.

Outdoor dining is safer — a new contact tracing report from the City of Alexandria saw only about 2% of new COVID patients report recently dining outside — but, of course, the weather is now getting colder, making it a less attractive option, even with the mass deployment of heaters.

In the meantime, coronavirus cases nationwide are increasing, though for now new cases locally are holding relatively steady.

Given all that, how do currently feel about dining out? Are you willing to dine inside a restaurant at this point?

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Need help dealing with anxiety, depression or stress?

If you’re struggling to cope with anxiety, depression or stress, our virtual psychotherapy services can help. We offer a confidential and convenient service that’s tailored to your needs.

In our practice, cognitive behavioral therapy (or CBT) is an important tool we use to provide effective relief for those facing anxiety and depression. We believe that cognitive change can be used to improve behaviors and emotions, thus allowing you to achieve mental wellness. By understanding the cognitive distortions that lead to negative thought patterns, we are able to create interventions tailored to each of our clients. This empowering approach can help you gain control of how your own thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors impact your experience. With CBT, our service provides an effective treatment that can bring long-term change and mental stability.

Book a free consultation today and see how we can help you live a happier and healthier life.

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St. Charles offers a play-based curriculum in a welcoming, Christ-centered environment.

Our program focuses on socio-emotional development and kindergarten readiness through hands-on and engaging activities. Our programs offer different schedules ranging from 7:30 am-5:30 pm for students, ages 2-5. We feature a full-day Jr. kindergarten class for older 4’s/5’s. Our facility includes a full-sized gymnasium, school chapel, and library. All of our students enjoy music and physical education weekly. Children have an opportunity to participate in enrichment classes such as soccer, basketball, ballet, and science.

We offer Summer Camp with weekly themes and twice a week water play, including Fun Friday moon bounce. Please join us for our Open House Feb. 3 at 9:30 am and 11:00 am. Click here to sign-up.

For more information or to schedule a tour, visit us at www.stcharlesarlington.org or call (703) 527-0608.

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