28 Mar Even ‘the pub’…
Its 7pm on day 1 of “lockdown” in the UK. Nearly a whole 24 hours since our Prime Minister gave us the news we least wanted, that due to the rapid spread of the Coronavirus or Covid-19 that all businesses in the UK must close and we must stay at home.
Grocery stores, supermarkets, emergency healthcare and pharmacies can remain open for essential visits only, but everything else in the UK is to stop…this is not a drill its total lockdown. “We will beat the Coronavirus together, and I urge you to stay at home, protect our NHS and save lives”. Boris Johnson’s very firm words are still ringing in my ears almost a day later. “STAY AT HOME”.
Coffee shops, restaurants, cafes, schools, playgrounds and workplaces have all shut….even THE PUB!
I think back on wartime stories from my late father and ponder on the fact that “The Pub” (that very British constant in life) has in fact never been made to shut. Christmas day, Bank holidays, through storms, epic snow fall, terror attacks, Co2 shortages, Brexit and even in wartime “The Pub” is quite simply always open. Through the second World War Pubs were allowed to stay open and continue serving even during air raids!
Despite a record number of closures over the last 20 years, “The Pub” is still successfully going strong and for a huge number of us it’s still the epicentre of our lives and our community. Whether “your Pub” is a small independent one in a Village with your own glass behind the bar, a slick modern bar in a city centre where all your work colleagues hang out on a Friday night for Cocktails, or like me you have “the one round the corner that does great comfort pub grub”. Most of us have or have had in the past “The Pub” feature in some of our biggest moments in life.
“The Pub” is much more than somewhere to get a pint of beer, a glass of wine or a quick bite to eat. It’s part of our day to day community, woven through years of history in both our country’s culture and our personal lives. From our first public drink, or maybe first job, to celebrating or commiserating, break ups to make ups, work meetings, first dates (and last dates), lunch with your partner, footie with your mates, Sunday Roast with the family, Pizza with the kids or wine with the girls. Sad times, happy times and oh my gosh way too much to drink times…… for me and most of us, they’ve all involved at some time or another…. “The Pub”.
So, Boris we will stay at home 100%. We know this is an incredibly serious threat to everyone’s lives and like most people I’m very worried for my family, friends and community. So, if I have to sit on my sofa and drink tap water for the next 3 weeks, or even 3 months if that’s what it takes then Boris, I’m in and I’m on it! (Ok I may have stashed a few bottles of supermarket Pinot in the garage to keep me going, please don’t judge me.)
But seriously – I am in awe of our amazing NHS teams and key workers, so to do my bit for the team and “stay at home” is a very small price to pay for my health and that of my loved ones.
However, when “The Pub” is open again, I will be raising a glass higher than ever before. Not just because it’s part of the industry that I’ve worked in all my adult life, but because it’s always been part of my life – every single bit of it – good times and bad. It’s my constant.