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Why our writer won’t be running back to the pubs when they reopen

Evoke.ie logo Evoke.ie 22/05/2020 Mary Burke
a person sitting at a table with wine glasses: Cocktails. Pic: Dromoland Castle © Provided by Evoke.ie Cocktails. Pic: Dromoland Castle

Hard to believe pubs and restaurants have been closed from over two months. With Phase One of the plan to lift restrictions starting this week it’s hard not to think of what’s ahead.

Most of Ireland is ready to meet up with family and friends again but how will be handle the new social distancing norm?

Starting June 8 we all will be allowed to visit other households. It goes without saying that this doesn’t mean we can throw a big party and invite the neighbours.

a group of people standing around a table: Pic: Maskot via Getty © Provided by Evoke.ie Pic: Maskot via Getty

We can all enjoy a walk or picnic in the park with friends at two metre distance soon. But I fear, like zoom calls and socially distancing drive-by waves, it will get tired fast.

New York has come up with a clever way of making sure groups practice social distancing as they have eased restrictions. Will we see this in Phoenix Park or dare I say it along the canal?

I long for the days when we can just sit and have the chats with family or friends. Not worrying about whether we can make our loved ones ill.

As much as I’d love to sit in a beer garden surround by my pals in the sun, the thought of even entering pubs when they reopen currently sends my anxiety levels through the roof.

a close up of a football field: Domino Park, during the Covid-19 pandemic, New York City. Pic Getty © Provided by Evoke.ie Domino Park, during the Covid-19 pandemic, New York City. Pic Getty

That being said many countries around the globe are beginning to open up cafes, restaurants and bars. While most business owner’s set to keep tables separate by two metres others are finding unique ways of keeping up social distancing.

In Germany Cafe und Konditorei Rothe have taken colour measures to ensure the safety of their customers. The cafe has created hats for coffee lovers to wear while enjoying their brew.

The hats are adorned with swimming noodles to prohibit the individual from getting too close. It seems customers are responding well to the tactics. 

To be fair this does look like good fun but I can’t really see this working for a night out in town. At the start of the month the Taoiseach announced the roll out of the government’s plan to gradually step out of the lockdown. 

Heute mal so ,, Abstandsnachvermessung“

Posted by Cafe & Konditorei Rothe on Saturday, May 9, 2020
 

Restaurants are due to reopen on June 29 with precaution in place to restrict the amount of customer in establishments. Pubs are set to start opening on August 10 but owners have been lobbying for an early date.

I understand that the lockdown has to end and we do have to get on with our lives but I am left feeling nervous. I do feel that Ireland’s approach to stopping the virus has been excellent.

I think opening pubs too early might lead to chaos. The lockdown has definitely brought out the best in most people but I fear patience is wearing thin.

Queues for the weekly shop were unbearable at the start but we have all learned how to manage. Will we start seeing shockingly long lines just to get the perfect pint?

a couple of people that are sitting on a brick building: Italy, Phase 2. Pic: Getty Images © Provided by Evoke.ie Italy, Phase 2. Pic: Getty Images

This week we saw the reopening of McDonald‘s drive-thrus around the country. Clearly many of us have been desperate for a Big Mac as rows and rows of cars caused staggering amounts of traffic. 

We could be seeing the same once pubs do resume business as usual and reopen. I for one am not willing to stand around outside a saloon for a drink I can get cheaper and quicker at Tesco.

I know it’s all about the atmosphere and being social but I would much rather buy a bottle of wine, have a few friends over and sit out in the backyard. 

a person sitting on a bench in front of a building: Family practicing social distancing. Pic: Getty Images © Provided by Evoke.ie Family practicing social distancing. Pic: Getty Images

Plus I would be able to keep my personal space. I may sound like a grandmother but I make is a mission to avoid overcrowded bars because quite frankly it’s just not fun.  

We all want to get back to the previous normal life but we have to come to terms with the fact that that no longer exists. We are in uncharted territory and need to forge a new path.

A friend of mine in Poland told me this week that she was out for a drink with friends. She and her mates sat in a beer garden with many other enjoying their first bit of freedom. 

a group of people sitting at a table: Pubs having opened across Poland Pic: Photo Tours of Krakow © Provided by Evoke.ie Pubs having opened across Poland Pic: Photo Tours of Krakow

She sent on a picture and it showed the tables were separated by two meters. Everyone had to stay with their own group.

Now okay, all this sounds amazing and maybe I am overreacting but to be honest, I can’t fathom doing this in Ireland right now. We just don’t have the means.

I will not be racing to the pub when it’s reopen until there’s a vaccine or a clear sign that it’s okay to do so. When that happens or the hysteria dies down when the pubs reopen, I will think about heading to the local. Until then Tesco’s finest vino will do. 

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