• April 19, 2024

A Lot of Things Are Changing Now That We’ve Got the Vaccine

Restaurant diaries is a weekly series starring four different people working in the industry. Every week you will hear from one of them: the wine educator Kyla Peal, the bartender who became the brand ambassador Jenny Feldt, the farmer Kristyn Leach and the line chef Peter Steckler. Here Steckler explains how the vaccine affects his work. Business at American elmthe Denver restaurant where he works; and customer behavior and how trust is crucial for success and security. Read his first and second diary entries Here.

I got the vaccine this morning and I already feel safer. I know the vaccine doesn’t work exactly that way, but I felt instantly relieved. I was so excited to get the shot – the first of two Moderna cans – that I drove an hour to Greeley to get it. Restaurant workers were eligible here in Colorado by mid-March, and I’ve been looking for an appointment for the past few weeks. It’s not as easy as it sounds. Appointments are quickly booked out, especially when so many are authorized at the same time. Everyone in the restaurant, especially our general manager, was good at sharing resources and alerting us to specific vaccination events in the industry, but the timing never worked out for me.

As far as I know, everyone in the restaurant is planning to get vaccinated. Many of them have already received the Johnson & Johnson One-Doser, so it is associated with an increased sense of security. Even so, I’m cautious about lifting the mask mandates (Editor’s Note: The Governor of Colorado recently extended the mask mandate for a majority of the state for an additional 30 days). It feels like we’re this close and I want everyone to be as safe as possible until it’s over. I see trust as a central value in this industry and in this profession. Our kitchen staff comes to work every day and is based on trust – that we treat each other properly and that the guests in the dining room follow the rules, are responsible and protect us at work. It’s mutual. I’m glad we’re not relaxing the rules at American Elm. We are still doing daily temperature checks and regular COVID tests for employees and maintaining the mask mandate for employees and guests until it is absolutely clear that they are no longer required. I think this is the most responsible thing, at least in spring and summer.

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