Just the bars, governor?

“If I could go back and redo anything, it probably would have been to slow down the opening of bars, now seeing in the aftermath of how quickly the coronavirus spread in the bar setting.”

So said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott about the state’s plan to jump start the economy that had been shut down by the coronavirus pandemic.

Well, I have another regret or two for Abbott to consider.

He shouldn’t have allowed beaches to reopen fully in the manner he allowed, either. You’ve seen the pictures from South Padre Island, or from Mustang Island, or from Galveston. Texans were packed on the beach, declining or just plain forgetting to observe “social distancing.”

Doesn’t that bother the governor as well? If not, it should.

I get that Abbott regrets the opening of bars. He has shut them down a second time in selected large Texas counties. He ought to expand the executive order to include bars in all of Texas’ 254 counties.

The state has botched its reopening strategy. Counties are seeking guidance from the governor. Now his message is becoming practically as jumbled as the mangled messages coming from the Donald Trump administration.

Texas now is staking claim to a standing it clearly doesn’t want: No. 1 state in the country in the rate of infection from COVID-19.

We’re paying Gov. Abbott the big bucks to make tough decisions. At this stage of the crisis, though, they’re all difficult. Shutting down bars clearly qualifies as one that gives Abbott heartburn. An upset stomach and a bit of pain in the gut is the price he has to pay for making a mess of the pandemic response.

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