My local pub won’t be reopening today or possibly for a couple of weeks.
The owner feels it’s too early, they’re worried about social distancing (mainly due to the amount of toilet trips needed by ageing men with bladders weaker than a watermelon mocktail) and see no reason to be rushed back by Boris Johnson’s PR machine.
“All this Independence Day garbage is a dangerous con that could badly backfire,” said the landlord.
And thinking back to the last time the serial liar spewed out that phrase, the night before the referendum vote, he’s probably right.
Other city centre bars I go to, which have little outside seating, are also staying closed. With the huge potential for crowds of rat-faced revellers on pub crawls dropping in, you can see why, for some owners, it’s a worry too far, too soon. Especially when people are still dying of this virus in local hospitals and care homes.
I’m still going to get a haircut at lunchtime then head to my favourite lane full of bars and restaurants, many of which will be open, and, if I’m lucky enough to get a seat, enjoy a few lovely draught pints of lager.
Hallucinations about condensation on the side of a big glass with a frothy head have been disturbing my sleep for three months, so a legal curer is well overdue. And I guess there are millions out there feeling the same.
The problem could come if too many people buy into the Super Saturday, Independence Day rhetoric, treat today as VC Day (Victory over Coronavirus) and party like it’s 1945, ensuring all the sacrifices we’ve made are lost in the haze of a thousand weekend benders.
Looking at some of the scenes on beaches, in parks and public spaces, and mountains of rubbish left behind since the initial easing of lockdown – respecting the rules and the environment doesn’t seem top of many people’s agendas.
By the way, how can any grown-up be shocked that we have a generation of young people who believe someone else should take all their cans and bottles away when we let them leave half-a-dozen tea cups growing mould in their bedrooms?
Hospitals fear the lockdown liberation could lead to A&Es being as hectic as New Year’s Eve, which could be catastrophic as, due to strict infection controls, most are currently operating at half capacity.
These are precarious times under a government pressurised by businessmen who bankroll them to reopen the economy, but whose empty promises have left us nowhere near on top of the pandemic.
Tomorrow, on the 72nd anniversary of the birth of the NHS, the nation is being asked to give all who work there one final, big round of applause as a thank you for their devotion over the past few months.
But the best tribute anyone out drinking today can pay them would be to ensure those mentally exhausted people do not have any more excess deaths on their hands.
Enjoy your hard-earned freedom drink today. But don’t treat it like the start of an Ibiza Weekender, go loopy and break all the rules.
Because, if you do, the pubs may soon be shut again and Super Saturday will turn back to Stay-at-Home Saturday.
Or possibly Send A Loved One Into Intensive Care Sunday.