I’m posting a day early this week. Everything indicates that the next stage of reopening is going from the theoretical to the actual, so I have to work tomorrow to start getting the shop ready for actual customers coming in. It’s for the best. I’m getting a little too used to lockdown; It’s best to get back out into the world before I develop a full on phobia of other people. And after weeks of running around the shop gathering items for customers on the phone, it will be a relief to simply point and say “It’s over there.”
Reopening shops and hair salons is the next small, cautious step on the road to ‘Normal.’ The big hurdle will be the reopening of pubs. British pubs tend to be small, cosy establishments, with low ceilings and small booths and nooks. A pub’s profits are predicated on packing as many patrons as possible into the premises. Social distancing is impossible, and even if it were achievable, drunks don’t social distance. To counter that, BoJo was floating the idea of a Vaccine Passport. This was met with a backlash as government overreach. So he scrapped that idea and replaced it with a Covid Status Certificate. It’s been met with much the same response as people cleverly spotted it was the same thing under a different name. I expect it will be used and abused and unenforced, much like the mask exemption badges which do not require a doctor’s certificate, can be downloaded off the internet or even, (I promise this is true) be made at home.
Also troubling are people already trying to book holidays to Europe. I know there are some very cheap deals on offer, but Europe is in the midst of it’s third wave and is struggling over their vaccine rollout. Even so, people want a holiday. The best analogy I can come up with is this: Your friend is having a party, and you’re looking forward to it. On the day of the party, your friend calls and says his house is on fire. And you think ‘So it’s a barbeque now?’
You can’t go to the party, because your friend has more serious things to deal with, and if you do go, YOU MIGHT CATCH FIRE, and you will bring that fire home to your friends and neighbours.
We are coming to the end of this, not as quickly as we want, but there is an end in sight. Acting as if it’s all over already, simply because we’re bored with the precautions and restrictions and sacrifices will only prolong those restrictions.