A month ago I said to my partner, “I don’t think I’ll feel comfortable going back to a bar for at least a year.” We went to two bars this weekend. It turns out that the siren’s call was too strong for me to resist. I did just miss people so much. There can come a point when the mental warfare you deal with when not leaving the house for months feels more threatening than the physical threat outside of the house (COVID-19, in this case). When the economic shutdown first happened, I remember thinking I’d avoid risk of the virus at all costs. We were wiping down our groceries and leaving them outside for two hours before bringing them in. We wouldn’t pet anybody’s dog. We would cross the street to avoid getting too close to somebody. But it turns out that it came at a cost that was too high for me: my emotional wellbeing. I was safe. I was healthy. But I was going crazy, and the depression that was creeping in due to social isolation was feeling more dangerous than the virus. I know it isn’t as dangerous but…it felt that way. So when the economy started to re-open, my partner and I decided: let’s go support our neighborhood. We’ll do it safely. We actually just bought a home early this year in a neighborhood we love for the lively, independently owned restaurants, coffee shops, and bars. I know I alone can’t save them, but I’d like to do my part right now while business is slow. But we still need to take precautions. Here is how to safely visit a bar during COVID-19.
Keep your distance if there is a line
If there is a line around the block to get in, keep your distance when standing in line. Even though you’re outdoors, you’re still near others, and if you’re waiting in line for a while, then you’re near others for a while. It can feel odd keeping six feet of distance on a sidewalk, especially as it makes the line seem longer, but do it.