In such trying times, we get the chance to see the shining side of our communities. People sticking together and helping each other to shoulder hardship is one of the best qualities of humanity. In this case, that hardship is the virus, and of course, boredom.
In such perfect example, this former tavern owner set up a virtual pub, now welcoming and entertaining more than 14,500 customers from all around the world. 40-year-old Jo Bowtell launched The Virtual Pub Facebook page just a week ago and has been regularly hosting live music, quizzes, DJ sets, open mic, and comedy nights since then.
The page's backstory goes back to Bowtell's pub The Noel Arms in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. After running it for several years, she decided to open the Facebook page to rekindle her old community. Now not only her local community but people globally are sitting on the virtual-stools of her pub.
Because of the thousands of visitors, Bowtell hired staff members from all over to keep the people entertained. Her team, currently, has 10 people who talk to customers and moderate the people allowed into the pub.
Anyone is welcomed to post, sing, and comment in the group, and positivity is reinforced. Musicians do live music, and there are quizzes, darts and comedy shows. It's just a fun time for anyone involved.
Hundreds of people share their selfies of watching musicians perform on Facebook Live while enjoying a beer to themselves. Of course, the staff encourages people to drink responsibly and offers coffee mornings as well.
Bowtell says, “Everyone is buying into it as they can sit at home and be entertained as if they are in the same place. It is a haven.”, BBC reports. She also adds, “It is like running an actual pub without the hassle of serving the booze. In such bleak times, it is important to find a positive.”