Well, well. It's been coming hasn't it? A cluster of cases of Covid-19 in Aberdeen based around the Hawthorn Bar in Holburn Street. 27 positive cases and counting. And I very much doubt these will be the last. We could be looking at a closure of all pubs and restaurants in Aberdeen now. Especially if the "wicked witch" (Empress Sturgeon) has anything to do with it.
For several weeks now, ever since restrictions were lifted, anyone walking down Union Street, especially of a weekend evening, could not fail to observe the queues of young folk, sometimes over 100 yards long on Union Street, queuing for entry to Soul Bar, all crammed up against one another, kechling and laughing, shouting and touching, and peering into their mobile phones. Social distancing wasn't on the agenda. And did anyone do anything to stop it? Of course not. Because in this city no one enforces anything. The police hide in their bunkers, tackling internet (mostly hate) crime. Those that do venture outside are cooped up in their cars. Council staff hide behind their computer screens in Marischal College. And the city is by and large evacuated by all sane individuals by 8pm every night so that the lawless and feckless youth of Aberdeen can run rampant, screaming and shouting in their drunken states.
In the Press and Journal today, Soul boss Paul Clarkson, operations director of Soul owners PB Devco, says he has been "telling people to socially distance until blue in the face". Now that may be true. But in all the times I walked passed Soul Bar (on the opposite side I hasten to add), I never once saw any staff from Soul Bar on Union Street telling the queues to spread out and socially distance. Not once. I guess they might argue the street is outwith their jurasdiction. But, I rather got the impression, rightly or wrongly, that the Soul Bar's main concern was to stuff the customers in, and keep the tills ringing.
I also read in the papers that this excessive queue has been going on for a week. No, no. I've seen this non-socially distancing queue for several weeks now, every weekend. It is not a new phenomenom. Most of Aberdeen knew what was going on for the past few weeks, but everyone just laughed and turned a blind eye.
It also says in the P&J that a person who tested positive for Covid-19 after attending the Hawthorn Bar was at Soul Bar. Given the highly infectious nature of this virus, I fear the worst. Aberdeen back in lockdown. It's possible. Thank you, Aberdeen youth. That's just what we all needed (I hope the sarcasm is obvious). Just like you all crammed onto Union Street to support Black Lives Matter and risked spreading Covid-19 to your grandparents back then, you have now probably got the city locked down again with your feckless, selfish behaviour.
When is someone going to step up to the plate and enforce the law in our city centre?
It is becoming like the Wild West !
(post-note: immediately after writing this post, PB Devco has acted responsibly in closing all PB Devco venues until it "feels safe to open again". Admirable, but perhaps this situation could have been avoided with some foresight and enforcement, not just by Soul Bar management, but also by Aberdeen Police and Council).