Archive for the ‘coronavirus’ Category

Lincoln coronavirus lockdown day eight

January 13, 2021

Lockdown, third lockdown, started Tuesday of last week.

Tuesday third lockdown day eight, the first time I have been into Lincoln since lockdown began, my first outing since tier 4 New Year’s Eve.

I see at least double the number of cars parked at Ferry Lane Washingborough than I would usually see. People driving to go for walk alongside the River Witham not acceptable, if not a breach of lockdown, it should be.

Little traffic, few people about, very much like the beginning of the first lockdown early last year.

Although bus station deserted, many buses parked up, causing problems for buses trying to enter.

Easy to see why coronavirus spreading so rapidly even though few people about.

At the butcher, a limit of three people. With new highly infectious mutation, limit should be reduced to two people. I wait outside. A woman with mask dropped below her mouth. I raise with butcher. Not for us to enforce. I disagree. Ask to wear mask or leave shop. Speaking straight into your face with no mask.

Baker, limit of three people. I suggest they reduce to two. We are compliant with government regulations. Are these people brain-dead?

Only two stalls open in Central Market, zero waste and fruit and vegetables. I am tempted to buy a box of dates, a bargain at one pound, I look again four pounds, I decide not.

I look in Wilkinsons few people in the shop. But why is it open?

Coffee at Coffee Aroma. No queue. A steady trickle of customers, maybe one every ten minutes.

The only coffee shop I will visit, where they take coronavirus biosecurity seriously, nowhere else does, and their coffee is good. A model of coronavirus biosecurity, other coffee shops should follow their excellent example.

  • form orderly socially distanced queue outside
  • only one customer
  • contactless payment
  • takeaway cups
  • no reusable cups

To go out for a coffee is a breach of lockdown, is a breach of the rules. To take a coffee whilst out for legitimate reasons food shopping or exercise is not.

For me food shopping and exercise.

I am told M&S Food Hall not the coronavirus death trap it has been of late. I chance it. Not crowded and staff tell me it has not been crowded all week. Never spent so much in M&S.

So-called plant-based junk heavily promoted. No, lentil shepherd’s pie is not shepherd’s pie, nor does shepherd’s pie have a long list of ingredients. Shepherd’s pie is a simple dish of lamb, root vegetables  and potatoes. Come end of January, hype of Veganuary over, thee same products will be heavily discounted and sold off

Caffe Nero lack of social distancing

January 4, 2021

Tuesday of last week, two days before tier 4 on New Year’s Eve, lack of social distancing in Caffe Nero, top end of Lincoln High Street.

Half a dozen people lined up at the counter. Half a dozen people putting themselves and staff at risk. This is an example of why covid-19 is out of control and why a highly infectious strain B117 is spreading like wildfire.

Covid-19 is a respiratory disease, it spreads person-to-person, it spreads through people touching contaminated surfaces.

Not only Caffe Nero.

I think it was the previous week, a family butcher a notice on the door, people not able to count, I counted seven inside, the notice said three.

A local baker, limit of three people posted on the door, people take no notice, often there will be three people stood in the doorway, blocking the way as leave the shop.

Guildford, first Saturday after the second lockdown, first Saturday of December, the town was packed, too many people on the street lack of social distancing. Looking in coffee shops, no social distancing as customers queued for a takeaway coffee.

It is not difficult to form an orderly social distanced queue outside.

Coffee Aroma in Lincoln sets a standard that others need to follow:

  • one customer
  • form an orderly queue outside not blocking the door
  • contactless payment
  • takeaway coffee cups
  • no reusable cups

We prevent spread of covid-19 by avoiding other people, keeping our distance, avoiding overcrowded enclosed spaces.

From midnight, England goes into lockdown. Will remain in lockdown until at least mid-February. England should have gone into knockdown Christmas Day.

Happy New Year 2021

January 1, 2021

New Year 2021, firework display London was muted, spread over a wider area, fewer fireworks, a laser light show and what I assmed to be drones incredible display.

The past twenty years, massive firework display concentrated in the centre near London Eye, barges anchored in the Thames with fireworks, massive crowds.

This year no crowds, the fireworks fewer and spread over a wider area, reduces air pollution which exacerbates the risk of covid-19.

Racists go into overdrive the mention of Black Lives Matter.

Shocking the images from Wu Han where covid-19 originated. People packed in the streets, coronavirus has not gone away. Similar shocking scenes in New Zealand.

Covid-19 is a respiratory disease, it spreads through person-to person-contact. The only way to stay safe and stop its spread is to avoid other people, avoid crowded enclosed spaces, wear a mask.

Data presented Monday was sobering, the new more infectious strain of covid-19 the number of new cases rising rapidly. The last two days of 2020, the number of daily deaths in UK close to 1,000 deaths per day. On New Years Eve, the number of new cases exceeded 55,000. In the last two weeks, the number of new cases has doubled.

UK should have gone into tier 4 at least a week earlier. UK should now be in lockdown.

Two vaccines have received Emergency Approval, Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca, to be rolled out in a mass vaccination programme. But we should be cautious and not relax our guard. Vaccinations are usually carried out in advance of a disease not during a global pandemic. The vaccine does not become effective for several weeks, in other words may sill catch covid-19 and fall ill. Little is known about transmission, you may be vaccinated but still pass covid-19 to others.

New Year’s Eve, coffee in a coffee shop, I learnt the barista who served me last week, now off sick with coronavirus.

I end with a short reflection from Paulo Coelho on what has been a very difficult year for everyone.

The Sound of Silence

December 31, 2020

To end the year.

This could have been any city during lockdown.

It could have been Athens during lockdown when not a soul around.

Please do not take reusable coffee cups to a coffee shop during coronavirus pandemic

December 23, 2020

Reusable coffee cups address symptoms takeaway cups not the underlying problem of grab it and go wanton consumerism.

Would treat a good red wine this way, then why coffee?

The only way to enjoy coffee is to slow down, sit and relax in a coffee shop drinking coffee served in glass or ceramic, coffee brewed by a skilled barista.

The world has been turned upside down by coronavirus, drinking in a coffee shop no longer possible, where open, often takeaway only, and if can find open, takeaway cups to reduce cross infection.

During coronavirus pandemic using a reusable coffee cup is an absolute no no. It is to introduce an unnecessary disease vector putting staff and clientele at risk.

No reputable coffee shop should be accepting reusable cups.

Takeaway cappuccino from Coffee Aroma. A model of how it should be. Only one person allowed into the coffee shop at a time, contactless payment only, takeaway cups a necessary evil, no reusable cups. No reusable cups accepted, anyone who tries will not be served and if persist will be asked to leave.

At the other end of the spectrum,. Brian of Brian’s Coffee Spot going around coffee shops insisting they take his coffee cups, in one coffee shop he handed over two different coffee cups, then bragging on social media his cups accepted and encouraging others to do the same. Highly irresponsible behaviour.

Thermal efficiency irrelevant. If I order a coffee, it is to drink, not save for some time in the future.

If I were to use a reusable cup it would be a glass KeepCup or Huskee cup. The glass KeepCup has the bad habit of smashing to smithereens if dropped. Huskee cup is a well designed cup, the lid an optional extra.

Huskee cup is an iconic design, with eco credentials of finding a use for the discarded husks from coffee beans, but and it is a very big but, it combines the husk which can be composted with plastic which can possibly be recycled and turns into a product which can be neither composted nor recycled and will at the end of its life end up in landfill or incineration.

I have never understood why anyone wishes to drink through a hole in a lid.

Not addressed, reusable cups must be barista friendly, that is clean and not too tall will not fit the espresso machine.

If we wish to reduce the number of throwaway takeaway cups the answer is simple, sit in a coffee shop and relax with a cup of coffee, but whilst that is not possible during coronavirus pandemic, please do not take your reusable coffee cup to a coffee shop and introduce an unnecessary disease vector.

If wish to take ones own cup to a coffee shop to drink out of, then take an enamel mug.

Guildford tier 2 day four

December 5, 2020

Guildford is best avoided on a Saturday at the best of times. The first Saturday in December, the first Saturday out of lockdown, my worst fears Guildford packed. No social distancing, queues outside shops.

Sadly no lessons learnt. We entered lockdown too late, exited too soon too fast, no random testing in the community.

I walk to a station, in pain, miss train due to barriers down, wait half an hour for the next train.

Guildford Station far busier than I find on a weekday.

Coffee off FCB kiosk weak and insipid. Not to usual standard. Maybe once again changed the beans.

Cold as I walk along the River Wey.

Bottom of the High Street over the River Wey a car park. Unless choose the route I do along the river into the town, which few do, the car park empty but for a few stalls.

A useless council jobsworth decides what a marvellous location to erect stalls for a Christmas market. The market would usually be in the High Street. Speaking with one stallholder, I learnt had taken 10% of what would have taken in the High Street.

I cross the bridge and I am horrified as I walk up the High Street. It is packed with people. As is North Street. My worst fears, super spreader Saturday.

A new coffee shop Ceylon House of Coffee I have not seen before. A queue outside.

Starbucks empty. Never seen Starbucks empty before.

Young woman in a shop selling nuts and dried fruit having difficulty keeping order. Sign clearly states five people I would consider two too many, but no one taking any notice.

Harris + Hoole packed. No one keeping order. Too many people in the coffee shop, no social distancing. They should be in a socially distanced queue waiting outside.

North Streetjam packed with people.

I wanted lunch in Hanki a Korean restaurant it is packed. Never seen anyone in it before. As is Koja, aka Surrey Hills Coffee, which is always empty.

As I walk into Hanki, two tables become free. I sit in the far corner.

But half a dozen Chinese. Absolute pain, shouting.

I didn’t enjoy my meal.

I am pleased though they took note of what I said about Deliveroo. A notice on the door telling Deliveroo serfs to wait outside. But half ignore, they don’t bother to take of crash helmet, not all are wearing a mask, and leave door open as walk in and out. Cold air, but at least ventilation.

To Koja. Barista / manager says busy. A lady leaves and gives me her seat. Others then leave. Occasional customer pops in for takeaway or a bag of coffee.

I order a cappuccino. It is not good.

I learn Koja has not changed hands. A rebranding exercise under new new management.

It is then to Krema where I have a decent coffee.

On the way pass by Gail’s bakery in Tunsgate. If as bad as the one in Farnham, then not worth a visit.

I learn that earlier in the day Gail’s was chaos, full of people, no social distancing. The Council should act to close down coronavirus hotspots and hit with hefty fine.

Excellent cappuccino from Krema. Alost closing time, not too busy.

Suggest to Ben’s Records, if we go into a third lockdown, which looks increasingly likely, stick a table across the door and sell out of the door.

To Waitrose. A queue. Waved through quickly, wiz round and make my train.

Takeaway coffee The Underdog

November 8, 2020

Night time curfew. Tuesday bars, restaurants and coffee shops closed. Saturday first day of lockdown.

Only allowed out with special papers. Luckily I have.

I take a walk around The Acropolis. Allowed out for exercise. Not specified for how far or for how long, other than short near home or accommodation.

A detour to The Underdog. I was very surprised to find open. Me, a barista and somewhere a chef. Usually on a weekend The Underdog would be heaving.

Chef? For deliveries.

They have now expanded their choice of coffee in Nespresso capsules. The day before I noticed Kudu and Mind the Cup were offering Nespresso capsules. Even Panama Geisha sourced from 90 Plus in Nespresso capsules.

Buy a 60 euro Nespresso machine and coffee from quality coffee roasteries, for example The Underdog, Kudu, Mind the Cup, but never ever use Nespresso capsules.

I came away with a takeaway coffee. Not great, though my fault, I allowed it to cool. Not the same though as sitting in The Underdog.

Deliveroo serf speading covid-19

October 5, 2020

Deliveroo serf acting as ideal disease vector for covid-19.

Deliveroo serf waiting several minutes in Hanki a tiny Korean restaurant, several minutes within a small enclosed space for order to be processed. That was whilst I was there. How many more minutes before I walked in? How many places visited, in out no mask, how many customers visited no mask, today, preceding days, following days? No track and trace, not required to provide contact details. No attempt  to remove crash helmet.

No surprise covid-19 cases doubling every few days.

I asked the young guy serving to file immediate complaint with Deliveroo. In future, make wait outside until order ready, do not allow inside, if steps inside to collect, remove helmet, wear mask. It would be advisable not to deal with this Deliveroo serf again.

Lunch at Gail’s bakery

October 3, 2020

What is it with these places, why no understanding of covid-19 regulations?

I walked in, unpleasant loud music blasting out.

I explained breach of covid-19 regulations, explained why, noisy, customers shouting, emitting 30 times coronavirus at high velocity across the room, I had to shout to make myself heard repeat to make myself understood.

I ordered a sausage roll. Usually they hot it up. Not served cold. A fresh batch was brought out of the oven, one of which I was offered.

I found a clean table as far removed from others as possible. I would usually sit outside, too cold, raining and no free tables.

Sausage roll was good, and was cooked Previous visit not cooked through.

Very noisy, music not turned down, unpleasant atmosphere, not possible to relax and I was starting to get a headache.

Tables not cleared of dirty crockery. This is the norm in Gail’s, tables not cleared, tables not cleaned. Bad enough in normal times, unacceptable during coronavirus pandemic.

Eventually tables were cleared, but not not cleaned, not wiped down and decontaminated.

I left, asking for a drink of water on my way out. I had asked for a drink of water when I ordered but none ever arrived.

For some perverse reason only half a door open, causing congestion on entering or leaving.

Covid-19 biosecurity appalling. I was not asked for contact details, loud music blasting out which was not turned down on request even though explained why, dirty dishes piled on tables not cleared away, tables not wiped down and cleaned. Only plus, staff wearing masks at all times and wearing correctly. Gail’s must be shut down and hit with a hefty fine.

Loud music, noisy environment, people shouting, are projecting thirty times covid-19 at high velocity across the room. Quiet conversation, minimise the ejection of covid-19 and only into the immediate surroundings of those talking.

If we are to get a grip of coronavirus, establishments like Gail’s which flout the rules must be shut down.

Gail’s is a chain, overpriced bread, low paid temporary staff, never see the same person twice, due to open soon in Tunsgate in Guildford.

Neither cakes nor coffee good. Far better cakes and coffee in Blue Bear Bookshop and Krema, where also take covid-19 biosecurity seriously.

Lack of covid-19 biosecurity Gatwick Airport

September 30, 2020

Gatwick South Terminal deserted.

With so few flights, why night flights permitted?

What is shocking Gatwick Airport one of the country’s busiest airports or was is that with the exception of hand sanitiser stations scattered around a complete lack of covidd-19 biosecurity.

No temperature screening on entry to the airport. No temperature screening at check-in. I cannot comment security checks, passport control, boarding, as I did not get that far. Nor was there any covid-19 testing available at the airport, nor in the locality.

Airports and airlines whinge about 14 day quarantine for arrivals from high risk countries and yet fail to put there own house in order.

There should be temperature screening, anyone with high temperature refused boarding but officered the option of a cvid19 test. A fast turn around as at Rome airport where they test and have result in loess than 30 minutes.

I am not suggesting instead of 14 day quarantine, I am proposing in addition to.

We are in the middle of a pandemic with cases rapidly rising, but would not think so with the caviller attitude taken by airlines and airports. Schools have more stringent protocol in place that Gatwick.


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