Now anti-vaxxers are ruining suburban fine dining for us. Is anything sacred anymore?

Anti-vaccine “protesters” were arrested for violating Applebees’ (and The Cheesecake Factory’s) COVID policies.

Applebee's restaurant logo on wall above entrance, northern Idaho. (Photo by: Don & Melinda Crawford...
Education Images/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

Anti-vaxxers have a right to protest in front of local government buildings, sure, but I draw the line when they try to attack our nation’s most coveted institutions. On Wednesday, four people were arrested by the NYPD after they protested vaccine mandates at an Applebee’s in Queens, per Insider.

And they weren’t some innocent family trying to enjoy some boneless buffalo wings, either. These folks appeared to be part of a loosely organized group that was going into different restaurants at the Queens Center Mall solely to sit in, provoke staff and refuse to leave.

Videos on social media showed the four protestors getting handcuffed as their supporters hollered about freedom and chanted “shame on you” (on epidemiology? on mRNA technology and the medical geniuses who helped save the world with it? Oh yes, super shameful) over megaphones. But Applebee’s is an American institution where science-respecting citizens like me should be able to go to have double crunch shrimp and get woozy on Long Island Iced Teas without fear of catching COVID. My question to the protestors is: Where is your shame?

The kicker is that just one day earlier, six anti-vaccine crusaders were arrested outside of the Cheesecake Factory inside the same mall, according to Bloomberg. The Applebee’s fiasco caused outrage among that community and it looks like they came back to the mall for round two.

I’m not entirely sure why these protests are happening now, considering that New York City has required proof of vaccinations in most indoor establishments since September. Maybe they got tired of cooking all their meals at home or are fed-up with driving to the Applebee’s in New Jersey, but the point is that we’re starting to get just as fed-up with their actions as they say they are with the mandates.

Look, I’m not a big fan of fast food restaurants and I’m not actually defending the Cheesecake Factory or Applebee’s (which, by the way, needs to change the name of its Oriental Chicken Salad ASAP). What I am worried about is that if these sit-ins begin to happen at other indoor establishments where vaxx mandates are in place, they’re going to start to ruin things for the rest of us really fast. Already, what appears to be an extremely transmissible new variant is making its rounds and we actually need to start getting our boosters as soon as we can. I sure as hell am not keen on another lockdown so pretty please, anti-vaxxers, take this somewhere else.