Public health officials are focusing on bars as hot spots for coronavirus infection as the pandemic takes another turn for the worse, especially in the Sunbelt, coastal areas, and other regions of the United States.
People yearning for entertainment, socializing and nights out on the town have been frequenting taverns, pubs, taprooms, cocktail lounges, and nightclubs as favorite watering holes had begun to open up in May and June across the country. Now, public health experts are sounding the alarm as coronavirus cases and deaths spike.
Crowds of people in close-knit quarters indoors, elbow-to-elbow, talking, shouting and singing appear to have formed the perfect storm for coronavirus infection rates. The jeopardy of so many people in tight indoor spaces without practicing physical distancing and without wearing face coverings has lead to a spread of the dangerous virus among tens of thousands of bar-going people in their social circles, to employees of the establishments, plus friends and family in ever-growing populations in many states, including Texas.
Worse-Case Scenario: A Cycle of Shutdowns and Re-openings of Bars
What makes matters even more difficult is governors in states including Arizona, California, Colorado, and Texas have had to order a second shut-down of bars after a re-opening of categories of businesses. This cycle of shutting down, re-opening, and shutting down again, can lead to establishments going out of business for good.
Losing Inhibition in Crowded Conditions
Besides the fact that when people drink, they lose their inhibitions to practice safety measures. Crowded bars with poor ventilation often force people closer together for hours at a time, breathing in particles released by the respiration of hundreds of people indoors and vastly increasing the chances of contracting coronavirus and spreading it to other people. Plus, younger people often have mild, few or no symptoms at all, harboring a severe health hazard to older people and those with existing health conditions.
Read “All Eyes on Bars as Virus Surges and Americans Go Drinking” published in New York Times: