We are moving forward in a new normal. The old normal will not return anytime soon unless there is an effective vaccine for COVID-19, which certainly is a possibility. Meanwhile, the economy, education and daily life are dealing with the new normal. And there has been an uptick in cases lately, which means that masks and other cautions cannot be relaxed.
In Arizona, the state has gradually allowed resumption of education and commercial activity. One of the areas most affected is bars, while restaurants have been operating in a new normal way, with lower capacity, that is.
Gov. Doug Ducey and Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ are facing a lawsuit from more than 100 bar owners saying state rules are discriminatory. There is a comparison to restaurants, many of which also serve liquor. The bars have had extra rules to open and also strong limits on activities allowed, which has been bad for business.
Now the state is allowing more activities, including pool, darts, video games, pinball and even karaoke, but of course with social distancing, plexiglass dividers and disinfection of microphones. Dancing, however, is still a no-no. Obviously, social distancing is difficult on the dance floor.
The underlying issue here is that people consuming alcohol are more likely to relax their concern about spreading or receiving germs. That has led to outbreaks of COVID-19 in many places.
Being governor in 2020 has not been easy. Ducey and other officials have done the best they could to tamp down the virus while allowing the economy to reopen. Many businesses, especially in the hospitality area, have closed forever. The return of some bar activities is but one of many steps in the recovery and is the right thing to do. However, this is not the time for the customers to relax too much.