I didn't want to illustrate this with the usual pictures of drunken fools, showing us their knickers or exchanging punches, so here's a slightly more sedate picture.
This photo was taken last Monday night in Soho; the traditional partying area of central London. Plenty of drunkenness, plenty of social non-distancing, and of course no masks, or self-isolating beach huts.
In the UK, Friday night is party night, and reports of serious street fighting in central London, and elsewhere, are already circulating.
The problem with opening-up Pubs, and Restaurants, etc, is that people think they can now behave as if there are no more risks. For them, Boris has declared the pandemic 'officially over'.
There WILL be a spike in cases of infection; of that there is no doubt. The only question must be 'is the new-found freedom worth a few extra deaths?'.
People have had enough of 'lockdowns'; they want their freedom back. Risk-taking has always been the reserve of the young, so enjoy yourselves; but please do continue to be aware of how virulent this virus is, you are NOT invincible. Covid-19 likes nothing more than grabbing onto humans, and it does so with great ease in crowded situations.
As Boris advises "try to show restraint". Not much 'restraint' was shown last night, I'm afraid!
They must be doing it differently in Soho. Here, at the South Coast of England, big university city, it's all pretty civilized. For starters, which is why I find the photo you attach a little baffling, it's table service only, for both restaurants and pubs. Staff wear masks. Masks to be worn if you need the (inside) loo. Pubs with no discernible room for outside seating aren't open. Restaurants are accessible only via pre-booking. Where I live most of them booked out for weeks ahead (all of the above not hearsay but the insider's in-the-know).ReplyDelete
Whatever, Cro, let's look at the joyful side of lockdown easing. It's just lovely to see people out and about. And heaven, John Lewis, my second home, is open once more. Tears of joy! Even if they squirt your hands with sanitizer before allowed into their hallowed emporium. Wearing of masks strictly enforced - and, generally, adhered to almost automatically.
And, to continue on a happy note, and I know it's only anecdotal, but since the "rule of six" for meeting outdoors was introduced the Angel and his friends frequent our wonderful civic parks (beer in rucksack), layers of thermals on to keep the evening's frostbite at bay, happy to SEE each other. Mind you, and this may interest you, unlike what you reported recently, here those outdoor gatherings are watched over by police presence. In an unobtrusive, even friendly yet firm, way.
re: your 1st para. As you can see, rules are there to be broken. But at least this lot seem to be behaving themselves. Last night was quite different; fights all over the place. The Brits are a strange bunch. They love to get really drunk, then fight. Even in blog-land this is apparent; you only have to look at certain post closing-time comments to see how too much alcohol affects folk.Delete
I do note on the extreme upper right of the photo, a discreet police presence. I can never understand why having a few beers is inextricably linked to fighting.
Because the Vikings, Saxons and particularly Celts all loved alcohol and a good scrap?Delete
As you say, The British are "a strange bunch" when it comes to drinking. Generalizing here: They appear to drink to get drunk. That, in my experience, is not the case on mainland Europe.Delete
One of the most astonishing examples of this I came across when, some eleven years ago, I was briefly staying at a students' house. A youngster, normally measured in all his ways, highly intelligent, at the time a friend of the Angel, actually tanked up (in front of me) BEFORE going out. WHY? I was speechless. Just as well.
Your observation re "post closing time comments" in blogland made me smile. Oh yes. Whereby you have also solved the riddle of TS's blog clock totally out of sync. Said clock bore (probably still doesn't) no resemblance to reality. I knew there'd be an explanation. So, thanks for that.
You're right, over here no-one goes out with the main objective to get drunk. In the UK you regularly hear people saying "We're going to get really pissed tonight". It's odd behaviour.Delete
That business of getting 'tanked-up' before going out, is very common. A cheap bottle of Vodka beforehand, saves spending on very expensive beer at the bar. Basic economics.Delete
Same thing here in the big cities and we are still on lockdown. The youngsters are not having it anymore. A takeaway drink, a bit of music and you have an endless street party.ReplyDelete
Thank goodness for our vaccinations
You can't blame people for wanting some social life, but putting their (or their family's) lives at risk is very silly.Delete
"See them all in Soho Square..." It was even worse I think when the last lockdown ended, or maybe the one before. I've lost track now.ReplyDelete
Give them an inch, and they take ten miles!Delete
I have to agree, Cro... opening pubs, bars, etc. again seems to just be an invitation to trouble right now. But what can you do? Common sense doesn't seem so 'common' anymore. I know people are tired of this. I'm tired of this! But... having someone die because we're 'tired of this' doesn't seem to make sense either.ReplyDelete
That is the great problem. It's finding a happy medium between freedom and stupidity. If people would respect the rules, and behave themselves, all would be fine-ish.Delete
What we may need is a vaccine for 'stupid'...?Delete
If only, Rian, if only!Delete
Drinking alcoholic drinks can diminish one's common sense so that social distancing and mask wearing seem unimportant. In September and October of last year I met up with some pals once a week for beers at "The Hammer and Pincers". It was table service only and we sat two metres away from each other. That was clearly not the case in the Soho picture.ReplyDelete
A lot of those people in the photo are 'making a point'. They are possibly followers of Piers Corbyn and his pals, and are demonstrating their disapproval of lockdown.Delete
They look like Cameron fanatics to me - bending the rules on a bender.Delete
Every pub with outside tables in our little town has been packed all week. Every car park has been full all week, dozens of caravans have gone through and caravans are parked on sites around the town, the shops are full - in fact all is as it was pre-Covid - time will tell.ReplyDelete
Well, that all sounds like the perfect way to ensure the continued spread of the virus. Let's all hope it's kept to a minimum.Delete
Cro, given Pfizer and Moderna are each working on "annual boosters", including the possibility of a combination covid + flu shot, and from all the (medical) science journal articles I've read, this virus is going to be with us for years to come. At least in my county of around 1/4 million, with 114,000+ vaccines given so far, just under 21,000 confirmed total cases, the elderly and most front line workers fully vaccinated, all others getting their shots now (if they want them), it's about as good as it's going to get. There are now reports of "possible" errors in death reporting. We're at about 1/10th of 1% FWIW, with a population of 60% over the age of 60. Our new cases are all from the local colleges. Lockdowns and isolation aren't sustainable. Especially if medical experts are correct in that the virus will be with us for years to come. Just thoughts.ReplyDelete
I totally agree. People seem to think that it's all going away; it's not. They also seem to think that once they've had their jabs, they're safe; they're not. All we can do, and will have to do for the foreseeable future) is to keep our jabs up to date, keep away from crowds as much as possible, and wear masks. Plus, of course, the most important thing; to cross our fingers!Delete
Well, I'll wear masks in the businesses they're required for as long as is required, but I have a different attitude, Cro. Having lost a few older generations in our family already, the next on its way out, I accept we're all going to (eventually) die of something. I simply want my life back. A full life. A free life. Which is the only reason I'm now fully vaccinated. So we can all have that back.ReplyDelete
That's really what I was trying to say. We all want our freedom back, but to be cautious at the same time. Continue to follow basic rules.Delete
Here in the states we have quite a few states that have dropped the mask mandate altogether. It remains to be seen what the results will be ~ although businesses have the option of requiring them within those states. My state still requires it....we have a fairly small (in comparison) population, and have been vaccinating like mad. But I know a lot of folks that won't go for it. I am so ready for masks to go away though. I hate them ~ I wear one nine hours a day at work. Which is why I rarely go anywhere on the weekend.ReplyDelete
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I only go out once a week (shopping), and when in the store I have to wear a mask. My weekly shop takes me around 30/45 mins, after which time I've had enough; I'm hot & breathless. I can't wait to get back to my car to remove it. I'm not even sure how much good it's doing; especially seeing how some people wear them.Delete
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