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Men’s Talk: Is Going to a Bar a Good Idea These Days?

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In the age of the virus, your actions should be weighed not according to capability but of responsibility. To a large extent, it’s not a question of  “can”, but it’s a question of “should”. A typical example is bar-hopping and drinking around to while the hours. After a year or so of being basically on on-off stay-at-home orders, experiencing the good old days should be timely.

Of course, you may have jumped for joy when about a month ago when restaurants and bars opened up fully in New York City and a host of other cities in America. It’s highly likely you’ve seen the best of the fireworks on the 4th of July lighting up the city sky.

Though you may be able to hop from one bar to another, the more pertinent question is, should you? A quick look at New York City today in one good cue. Even with many adults fully vaccinated, New Yorkers are now feeling scared once again because of the Delta variant. As the cases of the virus pile up once again, a familiar emotion rises foremost amongst New Yorkers: uncertainty.

Truth be told, you may have to do the drinking somewhere else safer. Better yet,  do it in the comfort of your precious abode. While bars can sure get you tipsy, they’re the last place you want to be during the pandemic. Here’s why:

The Nature of the Place

Ever since the Roman taverns of old, bars and pubs have long been a timely means of relief for people, men mostly. Not only were they a hotbed of gossip (where people can exchange just about every talk of the town), but these watering holes have become a magnet for all sorts of shady characters — from hoodlums to courtesans. The place is open to anyone who longs for a drink and has the money to pay for a glass or two.

At a time of the pandemic, bars can easily be called a public disaster. But what if these bars observe protocols?

Well, it’s hard to be definite without proof. So a group of researchers from Scotland looked into how bars and pubs would fare if COVID-19 rules would be implemented. To note, Scotland has one of the highest alcohol consumption in the world per capita.

To make their research count, the authors called up top pubs in Scotland, including those who are licensed to operate and their hospitality organizations. So, from May to June 2020, interviews on how these institutions fared and their challenges against the virus were conducted.

When these watering holes reopened, further observations were conducted from July to August 2020. To see what’s really happening, researchers posed as customers.

The findings were really not as surprising. Though these establishments took great lengths to reduce transmission risks, researchers saw that not all staff really adhered to wearing PPEs. Worse, patrons often forget to wear masks or maintain social distancing.

One thing’s certain. These places are designed for relaxing. Many times that could mean “leaving your cares” the moment you step in the door. In short, you’d be at greater risk of getting the virus when in a bar.

men at the bar

Booze Make You Loose

Indeed, drinking at home may be a more attractive solution. You’re protected from untoward person-to-person interaction. A good way to ensure that is to install security fencing around your property. Those sturdy metals not only are beautiful but also are a spot-on way to discourage outsiders (and possible friends) from coming in uninvited to chime in on the fun. Well at least, with a fence around you, they’d have to ask your permission first to get in.

What makes a bar really a bad idea is the alcohol. It is one part of the equation that pushes people to a cliff. While a pub can be viewed as a risky place, booze encourages risky behavior.

As one epidemiologist from NYU, Dr. Jennifer Lighter, concludes, bars are a great risk given the fact that strangers come together to talk in close range. And that often means shouting over ultra-loud rock music.

Alcohol fuels such fire. Just like any drug, booze stifles one’s ability to make clear decisions. This is exactly why drunk driving is one of the major causes of accidental death while on the road.

Think about it. When intoxicated, people have a  tendency to talk closer. They want to get the attention and will do things that they don’t usually do when sober. In short, they lose their inhibitions.

And all that means you’d be facing an uphill, if not an impossible climb if you choose to hang out and drink in a bar. It’s hard to think of all the rules of engagement when you’re heavily drunk.

Better Safe than Sorry

If you risk it, you’re bound to get the virus. It’s like walking on the beach. You’re bound to get wet if you do.

That said, if you really want to drink, drink at home. You’re safe to drink as much as you can. When you’re down, you can just sleep to get sober. It’s not as adventurous as getting in a watering hole, but it’s safe. And that’s the most important thing right now, for you and everyone in the family.

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