When Gov. Kim Reynolds opened Iowa's bars and restaurants on Super Bowl Sunday it's timing came at a critical period. What might have looked like a "Hail Mary" pass last week also looked to be a risky play for small business support, which ironically, is also rather big business.

It's no secret that a few good nights every year like St. Patrick's and Halloween can help make or break a restaurant, bar or tavern. But despite the lifting of restrictions on Sunday, many restaurants and other businesses still stuck to the safe game plan. Servers and waitstaff remained masked. Patrons did the same.

Bars were a little less vigilant (and a little more crowded).

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Municipalities are also sticking to their plans. The Mayor of Waterloo was one the latest officials in Eastern Iowa to come out in support of continuing the mask mandate, Iowa's News Now reported Thursday.

Mayor Quentin Hart is not alone. Many local communities across Eastern Iowa are steadfast and resolved to maintain the standards necessary to mitigate the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

The Gazette reported last Saturday February 6 that Cedar Rapids Mayor Brad Hart would continue to enforce the city's mask requirements.

Iowa City also recently reiterated that they too will not choose to recognize the Governor's latest guidelines, and instead have recently extended their local bans though May 2021 according to KCRG.

Ultimately it will be the consumer who determines when the mandates will no longer be needed. As new cases decrease and vaccines continue to rise, hopes climb that this may be the first glimpse of a light at the end of the tunnel.

That is not to suggest that things will quickly be back to normal, or suggest that things will ever be 'normal' again.

But we are making progress. So is it possible that it doesn't much matter what the Governor says or allows or what is required anymore?

Or was that the point of the Governor's plan all along?

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