How hard is it to follow a simple rule?


We are a long way into this lockdown thing now. It has been nigh on six months in fact. You would have thought we would be used to it and in control. But apparently not. Infection rates are climbing, there are localised breakouts, and a trip round town, day or night, illustrates how much people either don’t care or don’t understand. We should all appreciate what is going on by now, the planet is gripped in a pandemic, people are dying, and to help we stay apart as best we can, wash our hands and the surfaces we touch and wear masks over our mouth and nose to minimise airborne transfer. Simple.

Yet shops are filled with moronic idiots with no mask on, or they are wearing one round their chin or with their nose poking out. Yes, I get it, it gets hot and uncomfortable, trust me I know all about it, I am fat and hairy, but I manage, I realise that hospital or death is probably worse than 20 mins of discomfort. People are socialising in inappropriate groups and not understanding how far two metres actually is and worst of all, as far as I am concerned, there are businesses that seem to be flouting industry specific rules, whether through ignorance or, more likely, greed. By this, I specifically mean other bars and pubs, places that are obviously fuller than they should be, with people stood around instead of sitting, going to the bar, gathering in groups way bigger than six, blatantly not from the same social bubbles or households etc. Pubs that are having mass brawls and getting closed for the night by the police but opening the following day like nothing has happened.

This angers and confuses me. The information is easily available and is reported in the media frequently, so ignorance is not likely, which means it is greed that is making these places behave this way. They are coining it in as if nothing is going on whilst the majority of us in the trade toe the line and consequently watch our bank balances sliding towards red as our turnover crashes and our costs escalate (I have said it before, table service costs more to run yet you serve less people). In what way is this fair, and why the hell is nothing being done about it? Why are these operators still allowed to open?

One is a major company of course; whose arse of an owner donates millions to the Tory Party. His pubs could probably host evenings of human sacrifice to the devil and still be allowed to trade. But some of the others do not sit under this corporate safety umbrella, they are independent businesses run by what I can only guess are greedy individuals with no concern for the communities that they operate within. Yes, I understand that these places lack “Tuppennyness” so tend to act as magnets for morons and idiots, but they still have a responsibility to manage their customers. So, if you know people who go to these places, gently nudge them, and make them see the error of their ways. Let’s get people to support the businesses that are supporting our community by following guidelines and regulations, especially those local businesses that worked to keep things going through lockdown.

We all know the misbehaving businesses I am talking about, I don’t need to spell it out, and we should all be getting as angry about them as we are about the absolute tool in the supermarket coughing their way round with no mask, or the high ranking government advisor who sets policy to say one thing as he does the opposite. What we should not be doing is tarring an entire industry with their filthy brush. Most of us are doing it right, and suffering because we are. Blame needs to be apportioned where it is due, not broadly, and steps taken to keep us all safe. Councils and police need the power to be able to shut down operators who are flouting Covid guidelines. The last thing we all need is another complete lockdown because of greedy business owners and morons who cannot follow a simple guideline.

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