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The San Marcos Square during the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Megan Tran

The Square is quite literally named after the shape. Businesses are lined up one-by-one around a single block forming a square. It has become infamous for college nightlife, crowded bars, small boutiques, spontaneous tattoos and restaurants. But that has drastically changed since the Coronavirus hit San Marcos.

Coronavirus has viciously spread throughout Texas since the beginning of March of this year. Because the deadly virus was becoming a major problem, Governor Greg Abbott issued a state-wide order at the end of March stating that all non-essential businesses needed to be shut down. 

However, Governor Abbott has slowly started opening up non-essential businesses in Texas through phases. Now, was this a good idea or not? According to KSAT, starting the month of June, about 22 businesses in San Marcos had to close down due to employees contracting the virus. (And according to the Texas Department of State Health Services, there is an astounding 6,231 cases in Hays County to date.)

At surface-level, bystanders see businesses closing as a detrimental effect to the economy but how has the pandemic affected society, business and personal life through the eyes of the employees, the people who keep businesses operating? Employees from a local San Marcos restaurant and bar, Vodka Street Global Bistro, give insight on how COVID-19 has affected them as a whole. 

Vodka Street, along with most businesses on the San Marcos Square, were mostly known for their bar and night-life. With Abbott’s guidelines, the business could only continue operating by utilizing their restaurant that customers once neglected.

Roman Rodriguez, a former Texas State student and manager for two years at Vodka Street Global Bistro, did not really see COVID-19 as the end of the world. 

“As a restaurant, we were able to still sell to-go orders during lockdown and slowly open up according to Abbott’s guidelines. Yes, it did affect business but it was not the end of the world.”

Shelby Michael, a Texas State student and employee at Vodka Street Global Bistro, was affected by the Coronavirus more than one would think. The obvious assumption is that she no longer could work and therefore was not getting paid during the lockdown- which is true. But now, with businesses being back open, working as a bartender has been extremely different from working pre-COVID-19.

“Now, we have a 50% capacity. All customers have to wear masks, we have to wear masks. Tables are spaced out six feet apart. But there’s no guarantee that people are going to consistently follow those guidelines. I’m still putting myself at risk by going into work but I’m glad were back in business.”

From the outside in, small businesses are such a minuscule part of life but it takes a lot of great employees to keep things running. 

A Look Inside the Global Street Bistro During a Global Pandemic

By Megan Tran

SAN MARCOS, Texas — Coronavirus has viciously spread throughout Texas since the beginning of March of this year. Because the deadly virus was becoming a major problem, Governor Greg Abbott issued a state-wide order at the end of March stating that all non-essential businesses needed to be shut down. 

However, Governor Abbott has slowly started opening up non-essential businesses in Texas through phases. Now, was this a good idea or not? According to KSAT, starting the month of June, about 22 businesses had to close down due to employees contracting the virus. (And according to the Texas Department of State Health Services, there is an astounding 6,231 cases in Hays County to date.)

At surface-level, bystanders see businesses closing as a detrimental effect to the economy but how has the pandemic affected society, business and personal life through the eyes of the employees, the people who keep businesses operating? Employees from a local San Marcos restaurant and bar, Vodka Street Global Bistro, give insight on how COVID-19 has affected them as a whole. 

Vodka Street, along with most businesses on the San Marcos Square, were mostly known for their bar and night-life. With Abbott’s guidelines, the business could only continue operating by utilizing their restaurant that customers once neglected.

Roman Rodriguez, a former Texas State student and manager for two years at Vodka Street Global Bistro, did not really see COVID-19 as the end of the world. 

“As a restaurant, we were able to still sell to-go orders during lockdown and slowly open up according to Abbott’s guidelines. Yes, it did affect business but it was not the end of the world.”

Shelby Michael, a Texas State student and employee at Vodka Street Global Bistro, was affected by the Coronavirus more than one would think. The obvious assumption is that she no longer could work and therefore was not getting paid during the lockdown- which is true. But now, with businesses being back open, working as a bartender has been extremely different from working pre-COVID-19.

“Now, we have a 50% capacity. All customers have to wear masks, we have to wear masks. Tables are spaced out six feet apart. But there’s no guarantee that people are going to consistently follow those guidelines. I’m still putting myself at risk by going into work but I’m glad were back in business.”

From the outside in, small businesses are such a miniscule part of life but it takes a lot of great employees to keep things running. 

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