COVID-19 isn't going away. Until we get a vaccine, a large number of Americans likely won't go either. Go out that is. I'm not going that far, but I haven't and won't go out to eat (as in actually choose to dine in) until the pandemic is over/we have that fabled vaccine.

One of the biggest culprits for spreading the virus have been bars. Not just nationwide, but right here in Iowa where some are closing once again to stop the spread, and the risk to their staff.

In Minnesota, they're governor is threatening to shut 'em down again if patrons don't follow the stricter rules put in place. Will Governor Reynolds force all bars to close once again? Given her track record I'd wager not but that doesn't mean county or city officials won't.

Do we want our local establishments to suffer through another customer-less drought? No. Some... many, likely wouldn't survive this. In order to avoid that and more importantly, maintain health, here's three simple things we Iowans can do to avoid another shutdown or further illness:

1. Wash Your Hands and Don't Touch Your Face - Rerun? Yeah, feels like it. Since early March we've been hearing this. But if we're going to be out in public during a pandemic, it's important advice. You can sub in hand sanitizer for hand washing when there's no way to access water and soap.

2. Maintain Social Distance - The establishments are suppose to have tables six feet apart. Try to stay that distance from others when entering/exiting, going to the bathroom etc. This can really help stop the spread and that will play a HUGE role in keeping our bars open. I know it's tuff when you see an old friend or co-worker. Maybe you haven't seen them in a while and you just want to go sit with them and converse... better to be safe than sorry. Give 'em the old Iowa farmers wave. Can't get sick doing that.

3. Don't Go Out if You Feel Sick - Again, seems simple but... so logical too. Running a fever? Know you were exposed to someone who tested positive? Stay home. It's best for the health (and business) of others.

If you've had symptoms, it's really easy and free to get tested. The Test Iowa sites remain open. Please remember you have to sign-up prior to getting a coronavirus test.

Still not comfortable going out but really need that cocktail from your favorite bar? In Iowa you can always mask up and get it to go/curbside as well.

We can do this!

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