Pubs are set to reopen but I’m going to be honest and say, I feel quite nervous about this! Three months into lockdown and the way we do life has dramatically changed to consider safety above everything we do, including how we socialise.Are we seriously about to jeopardise the good work we have done by stepping into situations where, very quickly, matters could get out of hand?

Humans adapt and adjust to change easily. We have witnessed this first hand recently as we have lived through constantly evolving advice on a daily basis.

At the outset of lockdown, the mere thought of not meeting up with our friends and family was a harrowing one.

However, we soon found alternative ways to connect and socialise, so much so that the new normal suddenly doesn’t feel all that bad!

From social media live chats to online meet ups, people have learned to have more meaningful and wanted conversations in recent months.

Many have adapted to working from home whilst others have been able to ease feelings of isolation by being able to join in events that they previously would have struggled to physically attend.

Being able to have a “night out” from the comfort of your own home seemed like a bizarre idea at first however there have been many benefits to come from this.

As a new mum, for example, I would have been unable to go out with my friends due to childcare and feeding issues, however, during these past few months, I have enjoyed meeting up with my friends via zoom and even enjoyed having a drink with them without having the fear of missing out.

I have seen my husband do the same with his friends and if anything, we have probably seen our friends more during lockdown than we have done in the last few years.

Suddenly physical distance hasn’t been the barrier it once was to being able to enjoy a catch up over a drink! Also, knowing that there wasn’t an endless supply of alcohol behind a bar has meant safer drinking too!

Going out inevitably costs more than you ever intend to spend. Secondly, with the loud music and rowdy crowds, catching up with friends is never really catching up; rather its shouting over one another. At home however, more purposeful conversations can be had.

Also, not having to brave the unpredictable weather whilst waiting in long taxi queues to get home is not something I have missed at all.

Additionally, I have personally enjoyed saving money by not going out.

I have even perfected making a fish supper fake-away which I’m most proud of!

As restrictions have eased a little, having a small get together in the garden feels safer to me than going out to have a gathering in a beer garden.

Why? Because you can control who you come into contact with in your own space, something that isn’t possible in a pub or a club.

Inevitably when people drink, some can get a little carried away. Expecting someone, who is intoxicated, to remember to comply with social distancing measures is a far-fetched idea and likely to contribute to a probable second wave in my mind.

Public toilets are associated with high risks of viral transmission and again, when you drink, you pee and not everyone remembers to wash their hands. I forsee some problems here too!

Whilst I wholly appreciate that we need to help boost our economy again, I fear it is a little too soon to be opening up bars and clubs without inviting risk.

If you do happen to go out to your local beer garden, I would urge you exercise caution.

We are making incredible progress in our fight against COVID. We only need to look across the border to see how quickly the situation can reverse and get out of control.

We do not want local lockdowns and we want to come out of this pandemic and get back to normality some day soon so lets all be sensible!

I will continue to socialise with my friends and family from home for now, at least until we know that we are comfortably out the other side of this pandemic. Yes, this seems like a lifetime away but safety above everything is key.