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Stayin Alive with Blue Sky thinking

The thought that I could be allowed to go to Wetherspoons before No. 1 son can meet up with his 19 year old pals

Our first blue envelope arrived, hoorah! It put a spring in Victor’s step as the postman delivered this important package a good few weeks later than friends of a similar age. Maybe Midlothian has many aged over 55? At this rate, it looks like Victor will be allowed to go dancing without me. He might be tempted to have a boys night out, paint the town red and leave me at home, waiting for my dance card with John Travolta and a Saturday night fever.

What are your thoughts about a possible Vaccine Passport? To hear the PM hint about having to have proof of vaccination to have a pint or visit a nightclub has been met by many with horror.

The thought that I could be allowed to go to Wetherspoons before No. 1 son can meet up with his 19 year old pals, who are naturally more Covid sceptic (because they have been told they are not the ones at risk) seems like the latest Machiavellian plan. You can see the strategy. Evidence from Israel, who has been the world leader in vaccination distribution, has shown a fall in uptake of the vaccine in the under 30’s. Is this a marketing or a messaging miscommunication or manipulation?

Discrimination laws are justifiably rigid. To refuse entry to pregnant women, allergy sufferers, or those with disabilities who have been recommended not to be vaccinated, seems another massive discrimination to individuals and specifically to the hospitality industry. Again there is no hint of having to have a jag to collect your weekly shop, that new pair of trainers or indeed that haircut we all need.

Vaccination is one half of the solution. Testing is still the other.

I support vaccine passports for international travel. With Covid spikes aligning with February 2020 half term and summer holidays, it’s not just a skiing injury and a suntan we are carrying through customs. There is a need for lateral flow testing on arrival at airports. The vaccine passport would only get you off the plane not necessarily to your final destination or out of quarantine. I know some who have resisted a vaccine. We know of many that have resisted wearing a mask. There are mask exemption badges, will there be vaccine exemption passports too?

With over 50% of the adult population having been vaccinated (including 95% of the higher risk group), and with this number rising daily, what percentage do we need to get to for herd immunity to suffice allowing us a bit more normal?

The herd immunity percentage varies according to the disease. 80% for polio to 95% for measles. Not surprisingly, it’s not yet known what this percentage is for Covid. (If I see another report of a new variant I think I’ll mutate myself.) I’ve read it may be closer to 95% for Covid so clearly we’ve got work to do, but it doesn’t seem impossible? If our country has met the herd immunity efficacy then do we not just start getting on with life, albeit taking precautions but with no need of a vaccine passport if we are controlling our borders?

On the other side of this conversation, is the “vaccine war” that sadly feels barbaric but was inevitable. A global approach to trade has made the European efficiency of production of the vaccine a benefit for us in the UK. Clever contract negotiations have served the UK well.

The UK has been excellent in administering the vaccine. Less published reports of thousands of vaccines being binned due to patient no shows could easily be solved with standby groups of teachers, hospitality and retail staff, who should be priority groups in their own right, being available on call. Why are these solutions not in the system?

Brexit’s policy of “UK first” has made the vaccination roll out easier here this time around. Whether we can say it has been one positive of Brexit may be too hard a question to contemplate. Selfishness has never been a good long term policy. While it may not be wrong to prioritise a home nations health, in the long run we need an outcome that supports everyone’s health and wellbeing. Maybe it has facilitated this first round of vaccinations but round two may not have the same result?

England is offering employers the opportunity to sign up for workplace Covid testing. Carla is self testing at her college in England twice a week. Why has the same scheme not been offered north of the Border. A dear friend and Covid mentor who is an epidemiologist hinted to me last month that lateral flow tests for diners could be an option. If we had to get to that point, or a QR code giving you a green light to dine out, I promise we won’t check you inside leg measurement at the table! Please let us never have to get to this stage, it would be horrendous.

We’re launching the new April Contini at Home Menus today. These will be live for the next three weeks. Next week’s weekly specials are our Easter menus, it’s too good not to share all week. So remember we’re open Sunday this week for Contini at Home.

Some really amazing and exciting new season ingredients arriving for this week’s Italian veg and fruit boxes. April Fools Treat – On the first of April enjoy our fruit and vegetable box for £30 instead of £35 as a special treat from us. Barba dei Frati (monks beard), new season asparagus, zucchini rottondi, mammole carciofi, camone tomatoes, flat sweet onions, Decana (Comice) Pears and fresh walnuts that are being sold separately. You can see the shift in the seasons and it really will make you feel good, I promise. If you need any extra recipes please just tweet and I’ll happily share.

Victor and I want to say thank you to everyone that joined us for the Zoom dinner. We had great fun! Thank you for sharing your time with us. I know some of you couldn’t join as Scotland happened to be winning in Paris! Hurray!!!

Until we open, keep well, keep safe, keep getting vaccinated and in the words of those Bee Gees Brothers, let’s keep Stayin Alive!

Thank you as always for all your support, it is so greatly appreciated.


PS With the 6 month extension of the Covid Laws, what do they know that they aren’t telling us?







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