VANCOUVER – Due to the recent spike in Covid-19 cases among people under 40, Vancouver restaurants have resorted to installing scarecrows on their patios in hopes that it will deter the hoards of youths who continue to flock to their establishments.
“When we got the go ahead to reopen we were ecstatic!” said Keith McOrkin, manager of the bar HOT BABY. “But then young people started coming in droves. We didn’t realize that letting a bunch of touch-deprived 20-somethings in an enclosed space with alcohol would cause so many problems!”
While the swarms of drunken youths that are attracted to restaurant patios usually have a positive impact on the food service industry, the global pandemic has made this annual summer infestation a public heath issue. Restaurant managers are hoping the scarecrows will spook young people into avoiding restaurants and send them scurrying back into their windowless basement apartments.
“We tried banging pots and pans to scare them away but the noise ended up attracting them and it turned into a drum circle,” McOrkin added, shaking off the harrowing memory.
Alongside scarecrows, restaurants and bars are implementing other diversion methods such as making young people talk on the phone before entering, forcing them to be mean to servers, and setting large traps baited with avocado toast in corners and entryways.
While the scarecrows have been relatively effective at keeping away young customers, restaurants have found that their young servers are equally disturbed by their presence, so in addition to PPE many restaurants have made it mandatory for their staff to wear horse blinders to keep them from looking at the scary figures.
“It’s an extremely stressful time to work in the service industry,” said Tanya Chen, server and young person. “In addition to worrying about my health, when my friends try to eat at my work I have to throw rocks at them to drive them away. It’s haunting, the way they yell and yip.”
As COVID numbers climb among young people, older generations continue to urge youth to be more responsible by physical distancing, wearing masks, and having cushy well-paying jobs that don’t require them to interact with the public and haven’t been available since 1995.