Hoisted from the Archives from Ten Years Ago: Some Notes on the Dilemmas of Economists in a Not-Very Technocratic Government:

Should-Read: Ann Marie Marciarille: Eat Out Much?: "With 16 dead and well over 400 documented as infected, it is fair to say San Diego is in the midst of an epidemic of Hepatitis A... http://www.marciarille.com/2017/09/eat-out-much.html

...Other cities with large populations of homeless individuals should be afraid, very afraid. I'm looking at you: Detroit, Salt Lake City, Santa Cruz, and others. It is significant that there already appears to be a satellite outbreak in Santa Cruz. We are, at present, witnessing the second largest U.S. based Hepatitis A outbreak in decades.... Public health authorities have had to try to reach customers of a popular tourist restaurant who may have been exposed through contact with a kitchen worker, who may have been exposed through a partner.  I note that responsible articles go out of the way to elaborate that restaurant transmission is not a common occurence, though a drop off in business at the particular restaurant has already been reported.... Fear of Hepatitis A  transmission in California has officially made the leap from what I call "them to us."...

Then why are we so laissez-faire? First, it is and was invasive to require physical health examination of all food service workers for contagious diseases, even in the 1920's. Second, it costs money, whether born by public health authorities or by food service employers and it is money spent examining a low wage workforce with high employment turnover. Third, we do not want to acknowledge that our health as food service product consumers is deeply intertwined with the health status of the food service industry worker's health. Admitting otherwise punctures two popular American myths — the first that we are all almost completely in control of our own health and disease status as individuals and that your lack of health insurance or lack of easy access to health maintenance care is your problem and not mine.

I always ask my students who contend that the individual choice to obtain health insurance and health care is just that — an individual choice — if they eat out much.