Good morning lovely people
To say the last year has been emotional is an understatement. The emotions have ranged from shock, fear, hope, frustration, confusion, anger, love. Many of us are running out of adjectives.
I’ve drafted two emails over this almost year that I haven’t shared. If I ever write my Covid memories they will be in the epilogue. This week I wrote one of the pair. It served me well to write it but I’m not sure it would serve us well to share it. Surprise and disappointment.
I made a lemon cake on Wednesday and forgot one of the eggs and left out the sugar completely. Never have I removed a cake from the oven and beaten it again with the missing ingredients. Emotions can distract and Covid has created a perfect environment to get distracted. To be caught off guard. When you’re off balance anyway you wonder whether the timing was intentional.
Covid has also brought other emotions. Determination, resilience, respect, strength. The cake was salvaged and my emotions are back on track.
I think we can all agree hospitality has been on an emotional rollercoaster.
One of our hospitality champions, Sacha Lord (Night time Economy Advisor for Greater Manchester) recently succeeded in getting the “substantial meal rule” (Scotch egg gate in England) overruled. He’s challenging the government again, arguing that hospitality should be treated the same as non essential retail and the restrictions faced on our venues is discriminatory. He argues for class discrimination in venues. Venues without beer gardens may largely be in poorer communities so they are being stopped from trading and communities stopped from socialising. He is also challenging on the basis of science.
Supermarkets, hairdressers, Primark to Harvey Nics were (and will likely be) all allowed to trade before inside dining and with no restrictions other than social distancing. They have not been asked to restrict their product offering or their trading hours.
Many hospitality venues have enhanced ventilation, they are socially distanced, they have enhanced cleaning protocols and in our case we add time restrictions, making them, based on the science, no less dangerous. Many venues may be safer than the non essential retail and other businesses that have been permitted to trade.
Sage science also supports venues with ventilation. Most hospitality venues comply with enhanced ventilation at a far higher level than non essential retail. This point is ignored in the restrictions on hospitality.
Paid elected officials, who have not been economically affected by Covid, are making decisions that are detrimental and discriminatory to our hospitality community. Sacha we’re behind you all the way. Our other hospitality heroes, the team behind The Scottish Hospitality Group have been asking Scottish Government the same question for months: Where is the science that has shaped your policy restrictions?
The damage these decisions are making are not only affecting the emotions of those affected by the decisions but livelihoods. To say unfair is an understatement. I avoid the word unfair as I always feel we’re masters of our own destiny and create our own opportunities and our own challenges. If there is proof that hospitality has been discriminated against then it’s going to be more than unfair. Most importantly it will also be a relief and it will bring much happiness that our teams can finally get back to work, back to cooking and creating and back to enjoying each day.
Next week is a big week. I’m channelling all my good adjectives.
Keep well and keep safe
Thank you. Yes, gratitude is another emotion that Covid has brought back to my life. We’re so very grateful for all your support.
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EASTER SUNDAY AT HOME