We took one step forward and now we’re taking a step back.

Over the weekend, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that bars in certain counties would be ordered to close once again because of COVID-19.

Bars in the counties of Kern and Los Angeles were among those ordered to shutter once again, as the spread of the virus continues to grow and more people are becoming infected.

For a short while, the spread of COVID-19 appeared to have slowed down as we all stayed at home and some businesses were closed. The orders were relaxed and restaurants began to open as well as bars and other retailers. Of course, they had guidelines to adhere to before they were allowed to open their doors again, but as we mentioned last week, not all were adhering to those directives.

The Los Angeles County Department of Health officials visited several restaurants in Los Angeles, to find at least half of them were not in compliance.

If restaurants were not complying with the guidelines, we can only imagine that bars weren’t, either.

Yes, it’s nice to go out once in a while and meet with friends and have a drink, but just like going out to dinner, it must be done responsibly. We’re not sure how responsible a person is once they’ve had a libation or  two, but it’s a well-known fact, that drinking makes it harder for the prefrontal cortex to work as it should. As a result, rational thought and decision-making abilities are disrupted, so a person is likely to act without thinking of the actions or consequences.

If not forced to maintain a six-foot distance, it’s likely that those under the influence would not do it. They might not even think about it — or if they do, they probably aren’t thinking about being infected with COVID-19.

So for now, bars are closed again. Newsom is on social media every day, reminding people to wear masks and to keep their distance and refrain from attending large social gatherings or socializing with people outside of your household. Unfortunately, based on the COVID-19 data, it’s evident that some aren’t listening.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink, as the old saying goes. Apparently you can ask repeatedly that people be responsible, but you can’t make them act accordingly.

If bars are closing to stop the spread, who’s to say we won’t see other businesses close again and be right back where we were in March, desperately searching for toilet paper and food items?

Stay safe out there and do your part.

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