4th July – alas now dubbed our Independence Day (if you are reading this in America, this has always been your Independence Day, but we’ll scratch over that bit). It was previewed as the great uplifting of the humble bar; a revival of the simple restaurant, yet quite a few venues wisely chose to wait another few days in an effort to ‘control the virus’ (remember that phrase?).
How was yours spent? I confess, mine was spent like every other Saturday for the last three months – with a few bottles of fizz at home. Yes, I understand the urge for people to get back out there and experience something that was once so normal. I also fully understand the need to support our pubs and restaurants, who have been hit so hard by the virus. That said, for me it would’ve been sheer folly to go into Wigan town centre the very first day pubs opened. Publicans have no doubt thought out everything to make their premises ‘Covid Secure’, but the problem is once Wiganers have had one too many, they like to get close to each other. Whether it’s a simple selfie (I’ve seen lots of these on Facebook – completely against the two meter, or even one meter plus, rule) or a standard pub brawl, social distancing will have been chucked out the window quicker than you can say ‘mines a pint’.
Now everyone has got it out of their system I may venture out. I am etching to get stuck into a juicy, tender steak at one of my favourite steak houses, washed down with a lovely Bordeaux red. I may even pop into my local afterwards for a few wee tipples. But one thing I have to keep telling myself is that this virus has not gone away. Yes, we seem to have low levels of Covid within society at the moment, and I recognise the risk is currently reasonably low. But Covid is like a tap. The more restrictions are lifted the more there is a potential for the virus to spread again. It hasn’t gone, and it isn’t likely to go for a very long time.
It is about being sensible, not an idiot. Unfortunately not everyone in our society is sensible, and I’m sure this weekend we will see more scenes of [non] social distanced chaos in the towns and Cities. A parting thought: you can bet that the idiots spreading the virus now will be the ones blaming the government when infections quadruple in three months time ….