I had intended to do a post before now, but something always changes in the whole COVID-19 situation, rendering all my ideas obsolete overnight. But now we're in a period of relative stability (at least until next week when our Beloved Government makes its Christmas plans clear), I can finally get something in writing. So apologies to any readers who may find this stuff even more bizarre and disjointed than usual.
While the pubs were still open, I did my bit, shall we say. I doubted my custom alone would keep the town's pubs going, but let it be said here - I gave it my very best shot. Every Sunday and Monday I did my usual crawl, sinking many pints in the process and reassuring people in social media that though these places were open, the much-expected non-social distancing disasters was not happening. At least where I was going, anyway.
That was in August, and pretty much stayed steady in the vast majority of the pubs I went to until Preston was placed in Tier 3. I made sure I stuck by the rules (one thing about being autistic is that I'm good with "rules" once I'm made aware of them) and stuck it out despite the ever-increasing restrictions. I carried hand sanitiser at all times. I never took my mask off except at my seat. I downloaded the NHS App and checked in at every venue. I even, when usage of public transport was "strongly advised against" for all but essential journeys, walked to town and back instead of taking the bus (a 7 mile round trip). I've served my time in the Rona Trenches to support pubs. I really have.
The final straw for me was the aforementioned Tier 3 announcement. All pubs not serving a "substantial meal" were to close. That kiboshed most of my typical weekend. I contemplated walking to Spoons, or any of the nearby places that do food, sitting on my own with a pizza and 2 pints, then going home (how many "substantial meals" can anyone consume in one day). Any fun I'd have just wasn't worth the effort on top of everything else I'd have to do.
That was 6 weeks ago. We're now 10 days from the current lockdown being lifted. I don't know about you but I'm not holding out much hope for anywhere I'd want to go being open before January at the earliest. Christmas I can see being a total farce, as what business would bother opening (presumably under heavy restrictions) for a week and being shut down again for another month to compensate for the inevitable increase in Coronavirus cases? The ones that do will probably end up sharing the fate of this place near me.
No. I think I'll likely be staying home until 2021. Luckily (?) the Christmas period means we retail workers have plenty to do, so I'm unlikely to be bored. And for leisure - well, plenty of whisky and Green Devil here. Plus "Uncle Matt's Mixtape Factory", the results of which some of you may have seen on another blog. So I'll see you all next year. Probably.
Well, that was depressing, wasn't it? Never mind - for those overly affected by this post, here's some Herb Alpert to cheer you up :