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Patience wears thin for Calgary restaurant owner

Last Updated Jan 27, 2021 at 7:49 am MDT

CALGARY (CityNews) – For one restaurant owner, COVID-19 and Alberta’s current health restrictions are weighing heavily not only on her professional but personal life as well.

The hope of re-opening in the near future, disappearing for business owner Jenna Bazzana.

“The toll is not wanting to eat, not being able to sleep, checking to see where your money is going.”

The constant game of waiting to reopen keeps Bazzana, owner of Sauce Italian Kitchen & Market, up at night.

The single mother is trying to figure out how to keep business afloat, how she’s going to pay for her son’s schooling, and how it’s affecting her staff.

“It’s just a constant high of anxiety and you just don’t know.”

“We understand businesses have some anxieties and our hearts go out,” said Health Minister Tyler Shandro during a COVID-19 update on Monday.

RELATED: Restaurant owners ‘frustrated and angry’ that health restrictions are still in place

This week many businesses were hoping they’d get the green light from the provincial government to open soon. Instead, they got a different message.

“We continue to evaluate the criteria for relaxing restrictions and I hope to have more to say in the coming days,” said Shandro.

For Bazzana, she wonders how long restaurant owners like herself can wait.

“I don’t really care to wait to be honest. I was anticipating February 1st and I think we all had that in our minds. It’s just an endless waiting game.”

The Alberta Hospitality Association recently conducted a survey with regard to re-opening for in-service dining.

The preliminary results showed just over 57 per cent choose to remain shut for now if it means they can stay open permanently in the future. About 42 per cent said they should open immediately, even it means greater risk of closing or having additional restrictions put in place.

Re-opening now is something Bazzana heavily considers as her patience wears thin.

“I am tired. Do I want to follow the rules? Yeah, of course, we don’t want anyone getting sick and we want a healthy environment but we need to be able to open. We need to find that balance between science and opening up the economy because it’s falling and it’s falling fast.”