This week, our Claire popped into the city centre…
I’m overjoyed to see that WHISC is now offering a selection of classes and courses. Of course, to take advantage of many of these means coming into the city centre. As someone with anxiety, I wasn’t feeling too confident about this. So on Tuesday I ventured into the city centre to see what things were like. Here’s what I found…
I came into the city centre by train. The train had six carriages. So there was lots of room to space out and I had a group of four seats to myself. Also helping me feel safe was seeing people wearing face coverings. I also opened the window as I’ve read that ventilation helps minimise the risk of infection. The only time I felt anxious was when I had to go in the lift at the station. People were obeying the social distancing guidelines though. So that helped me remain calm.
The High Street
Having not been on the high street for six months, it was a bit of a shock seeing how busy it was. However, people were obeying the social distancing guidelines and I soon got used to it. Around Liverpool ONE there is also a one way system but some people were ignoring it. However, one benefit of wearing a face covering is that I can cuss without it showing! But, seriously, the vast majority of people were being kind and considerate of each other – it is Liverpool, after all!
On the whole, the shops didn’t seem any quieter than usual. However, some are now visibly limiting the numbers inside at any one time. This means there’s often lines of shoppers queueing on the street. So I guess the days of just browsing are probably numbered as I think you’d have to be really keen to go to more than a couple of shops these days. Obviously, people have to also wear a face covering now every time they go into a public place to minimise infection. However, after a while, I got fed up of taking it on and off every time I went in and out of a shop. So ended up just keeping it on all the time. This also helped me feel safer (although I understand a face covering is more about protecting others than myself).
As I turned my trip into the city centre into a bit of a day out, I ate out for both lunch and tea. Both restaurants were clean and spacious, with the tables set well apart from each other. One also offered hand sanitiser at the door and took my details for their track and trace system. They also offered a paper menu in place of their usual one, to minimise the risk of infection I suppose. Either way, at no point did I feel in any danger. As I wandered around the city centre, I also saw that places are offering outside dining on the street. I can see the sense to this and it brought an almost continental atmosphere to Liverpool… if only it could bring the warm weather as well!
As the afternoon wore on, I fancied a bit of a break. So I looked for a cafe to sit in. They were very busy but I did eventually find one on Church Street that looked OK. Inside, it was clean and the tables well spread out, with some cordoned off to give more room. However, people kept moving the furniture so that they could sit together. So the staff had to keep asking them to put it back. I’m glad they had the sense to do this. For one, it obviously minimises the risk of infection. But also, if the place had to close because people got infected, then the staff wouldn’t have an income and the cafe would get a bad reputation.
I enjoyed my day out to the city centre. The vast majority of people were being sensible and kind and considerate to each other. It was also wonderful to reclaim a bit of my old life back and enjoy a greater sense of freedom. However, for now, going into the city centre will remain a special occasion rather than something I do on a daily basis. But I feel this will provoke me to make the most of my visits and appreciate the special places like WHISC all the more.