Take Out Just Isn’t the Same

Garrit Wilson, Contributor

Seven days ago, on March 16, 2020, Colorado Governor Jared Polis ordered that all restaurants close their dining rooms. This action was obviously a reaction to the COVID19, and was launched in order to “flatten the curve” in Colorado. Polis’ order was a quick reaction to the panic of the state. This order left restaurants in limbo, no longer were they allowing customers to sit in their restaurant, and thus the world of take out in Fort Collins flourished. 


On Wednesday night, I decided I wanted an inside out sweet pork burrito from Cafe Mex; I had to have it. This was my first time eating out since the governor’s order, so I did some research. Quickly, I realized I had two options. The first was a delivery service. Cafe Mex offers delivery through GrubHub, Postmates, NocoNosh, and DoorDash. I am a Postmates driver and because of that I have realized that delivery services are a scam, and such a waste of money. I try to stay away from them if possible. This left my second option, ordering take out at the store. 


I drove to Cafe Mex; it was 6:00 pm, and the 10 minute drive to Cafe Mex was eerily empty. The streets still had cars, but the usual congestion of rush hour on a Wednesday was not present. I got to Cafe Mex and the parking lot was empty. I was only the third car in the lot–a first since it is usually a struggle to find parking at this hour. To no surprise, when I entered the store, I was the sole customer. Eight workers stared at me as I ordered my food. For the first time in my life, I didn’t have to wait in line, and I was out in less than five minutes. I paid for my food, and was out the door. 


I arrived home and ate my food. It tasted the same, but it didn’t feel right. In one week, the world changed so much, and sitting in my room, eating my Cafe Mex alone was depressing. This experience put everything in perspective; this was the new normal, and I didn’t like it.