After months in isolation, people are exhausted and feeling lonely, which makes them more reckless when entering bars and restaurants.
Bars are hotspots for the coronavirus. A few weeks ago there was a report that detailed how 15 people contracted the virus in Jacksonville, Florida. Despite the fact that they had been diligent throughout the first couple of months of the pandemic, they went out to a pub to celebrate a birthday and were showing symptoms of COVID-19 a couple of days later. The one thing these victims had in common? Spending an evening together at a bar.
What is it about bars that makes them so dangerous when it comes to the spread of the virus?
On the most basic level, bars are places where people tend to get careless. Most who enter the establishment are looking to be social and have drinks with their friends. Unless people are extremely diligent, they’ll likely drink alcohol, stand close to each other and raise their voices in order to be heard over the music, thus spreading more of their droplets.
Four months into the pandemic and people have been lulled into a false sense of security. After spending months in isolation, people are exhausted and feeling lonely, which makes them more reckless when entering bars and restaurants — establishments that are trying their best to adapt to these unprecedented social distancing measures, with varying degrees of success.
“There are certain counties where a majority of the people who are tested positive in that county are under the age of 30, and this typically results from people going to bars,” said Texas governor Greg Abbot.
While the demographic that’s been getting more exposure to the virus is the same one that’s likely to face severe symptoms, few of these people are completely isolated, especially now that social distancing guidelines are lifting. This means they might be asymptomatic and will likely be in contact with others who are more vulnerable.
Public protocol can be confusing right now, but there are some common sense measures that limit the amount of risk people are exposing themselves and others to. It’s important to wear face masks and to comply with social distancing guidelines when immersed in crowded settings. While it may not work for an old fashioned party, it’s the reality that we’re living in.