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What will next year be like

Clearly the greater good of the G7 have a very different set of regulations to follow than us ordinary folk! Jet set

This time last year we were still in Lockdown 1 and the prospect of the 15th July opening was filled with a sense of relief that this hell was all coming to an end. We’d served our penance, survived and all would be returning to how it was before, or at least a road heading in that direction.

Well it hasn’t quite worked out like that! What will this time next year feel like? Lockdown VI. (I’ve used Roman numerals so we don’t offend the cardinal numbers)

I started to write this on Wednesday. When I saw the news later in the day, I was stuck dumb for a few moments, reading that our Minister for Covid Recovery is asking for an extension to Covid Powers that may last until March 2022. The same update highlighted the ban on parents attending socially distanced nursery graduations for a class of 20 while over 3000 fans can gather at the Euro’s in Glasgow Green, with different licensing laws to neighbouring pubs.

Heading towards two years of hell is more than I think many of us are willing to bear for the greater good.

The vaccine roll out, now with under 18’s being added to the waiting list, we were told would bring a return to normal living.

It doesn’t take much to get either Victor or I to “find something in our eye”, and it’s not just the high winds or our own emotions, it’s seeing and sharing the public’s feelings and frustration with the status quo.

I am a very practical person. Equally irrational as I do believe in fairness (which is far too often lacking) and live for the impossible to be possible. However this weird world where we have found ourselves can not carry on indefinitely, or apparently until March 2022.

Clearly the greater good of the G7 have a very different set of regulations to follow than us ordinary folk! Jet set, hugging, back clapping, socialising party boys and girls. Where is the setting an example for the greater good? Life really is a beach for some.

When I hear politicians say “I know how hard this is for many” I would love to have that conversation face to face. I’d invite you all along too. I’d share customer stories of families who haven’t seen each other for almost a year; I’d share customer stories of children traumatised; I’d share customers stories of lost pensions and I’d share customer stories of anxiety from not being on a bus or not having visited Edinburgh for over a year. These are stories of just one day in our life, only a fraction of the stories shared day in and day out. I’d also share all our frustration of not only the desire but the deep necessary for this to end.

Can I also add there are many stories of happy moments and joy at friendships and family reunions. It’s not all Oprah, we have many Graham Norton moments too.

The effects of Covid on hospitality is a story that may be easier to articulate. With so many venues closed permanently due to financial challenges or closed part time due to staff shortages. Individual stories may be too personal to voice but they should be shared so the burden of hurt is not carried by a few but by those who have the power to change it.

“Save lives, protect the NHS”. Ok we did that. Are the new Covid variants going to place as much strain on the NHS with a much younger population most exposed? Or is it best to “Save our families’ sanity and protect the Economy”? I know it’s a tough call but there really is only so much of one medicine we can take.

Reading that some venues around Scotland have been closed for 10 days, due to Covid cases within their own teams, leaves us with the worry that at any time we could be forced into the same position. Venue lockdowns are still on the table for hospitality businesses, never mind regional lockdowns due to changes of the Levels. The first leaves us focussed on best practice, the latter leaves the sector ready to revolt never mind the general public. We continue to be rigorous with our Covid procedures. I know we’re sticking out like a sore thumb compared to some but faced with a higher risk of a forced closure, we believe there is no alternative to change practice at this stage.

Keep well and keep safe

Thank you as always for all your support and kindness, we so very much appreciate it.

Carina


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