Pubs are a quintessentially British tradition. There are over 60,000 in this country! So when they closed back in March, many Britons felt lost. No quick pints, no pub quizzes, no Sunday Roasts – no sociability. Yes, socialising is important and it something that everyone has undoubtedly been craving after being isolated for so long. But, for me, this isn’t the change I was hoping for and not something I’m entirely comfortable with, which is why I won’t be visiting a pub any time soon.
I understand that businesses have suffered a lot over the course of lockdown and that employees have been facing the unknown. Between furlough, possible redundancy and not knowing when (or even if) they will return to work, but I don’t understand why the pubs are one of the primary places to open. They are a hub for catching up with people, bumping into friends and spontaneous pints, all of which won’t happen now in the same way we are used to. A lot of places are requiring bookings, the use of apps for ordering, the maintenance of social distancing and the use of PPE. So, it won’t be the return to ‘normal’ that I think most people are expecting, but this ‘new normal’ we are all talking about. This is one of the reasons I won’t be going, because it won’t be the same experience that we all love. Plus, I can go to a shop or supermarket, like we have been doing the whole way through lockdown, buy alcohol and enjoy it at home.
Another important reason is because of the photos I’ve seen from ‘Super Saturday’. On Saturday 4th July, in England, pubs, restaurants, bars and other places began reopening, with thousands of people flocking to experience normality once again. However, in some places, most notably Soho in London, this meant huge swells of people crowding the streets with no chance for social distancing. These images were unbelievable and it felt like these people were ignoring, or had simply forgotten, the fact that we’d all just spent 3 months at home because of a virus, which killed nearly 45,000 in the UK alone, that has not yet gone away. There are people who are still ill, still in hospital, still shielding, yet we see these photos.
There’s also still an ongoing debate on how schools will reopen in September. Education is surely more important than a pint, but here we are seeing social places open and customers not following the guidance. It makes no sense to me.
On top of these reasons, my personal reason I won’t be going is because there are things that are more important to me that I haven’t been able to do. In particular, I want to be able to visit people that I haven’t been able to see. Lockdown won’t be over for me until I am able to do these things. I want to see my boyfriend and best friends, and to be able to give them a hug, visit their houses and have a proper catch up. Yes, meet ups are allowed but with social distancing still in place, so I would rather wait until lockdown rules change and be able to see people properly. It’s already been months anyway, I think we can wait a few more weeks.
Photo courtesy of Dovlet Hojayev