Archive for the ‘coronavirus’ Category

Gatwick Airport lax coronavirus biosecurity

October 7, 2021

Not mandatory to wear a mask. Not even on the shuttle between terminals.

Passengers not wearing masks, staff not wearing masks.

M&S how many have touched the self-service touch screens?

EasyJet, lack of social distancing at check-in.

Passing through the airport mingling with passengers from God knows where, including high risk countries thanks to lax controls on entering the country.

Pfizer vaccine second dose

September 8, 2021

Last week tried at a pharamacy, mislead it was walk in, but was not, had to book anappoinatment, but can always try, we maybe have a camcelelatkion.

Tried again yesterday, closed for lunch.

I returned later, no cancellations, but as I was a couple of weeks at least overdue for second vaccination, they agreed to give me my second dose.

Ouch, it hurt. Rested for fifteen minutes, no adverse side effects.

A very hot day, as nearby Brayford, decided to sit outside for lunch, The Square Sale service abysmal, as was William IV and the food was disgusting. Smell of sewage wafting over whilst sat outside William IV but at least pleasant sat in the shade of a tree overlooking Brayford Pool, and I thought it wise to rest.

Evening, my arm ached, night-time, very tired, arm ached and made sleep not easy.

Next day, ie today, felt terrible, woke up not feeling good. Feeling a little better I got up, I felt as though hard work in the garden stiff, ached all over, could barely move.

Late night, very tired.

Lincoln coronavirus cases worst in the country

August 6, 2021

Lincoln for first five days this week worst place for coronavirus cases descends into farce with half hearted surge testing.

Shops no requirement to wear mask when entering.

Public transport passengers not wearing masks coronavirus death traps.

Binge drinking bars top end of High Street, The Strait and Bailgate.

Come September, if not mandated double vaccinated, returning students will turn city into coronavirus hotspot.

There is no city centre permanent vaccine centre, nor has there been.

Steampunk Festival was wisely cancelled. Why has the Lincoln Christmas Market not been cancelled?

Pfizer vaccine first dose

July 3, 2021

Two weeks ago I passed a pop up vaccination centre. Last week I visited to find not there.

Today, a pop up vaccination centre on Brayford. I expected a long queue. No queue.

To my surprise I did not feel either needle or vaccine.

My arm felt heavy but otherwise nothing.

I forgot I had had a vaccine.

Second dose in eight weeks.

side effects

Initially, apart from my arm feeling a little heavy, nothing.

Early hours of the morning raising my arm to remove my shirt my arm painful.

Four in the morning, end of my fingers, as though being stung or needles inserted.

Next day, feeling rough, ache.

Two days later, mowing the lawns, close to collapse. I then ache and can barely move.

Hard physical work following vaccination not wise.

NHS vaccination programme .

Development of vaccines, roll out of vaccination, pop up centres, the only success.

Too late to lock down, relax too soon.

Crass stupidity of Eat Out to Help Out.

Failure to close borders to India and Nepal.

Serco track and trace.

We are now entering a Third Wave with cases rising rapidly and government proposes a relaxation of all remaining restrictions.

Update

Massive surge in cases, latest lockdown yet to feed through. Cases for several days dropped very rapidly, an anomoly, no one knows why.

Today more crass stupidity, no requirement for travellers from medium risk countries to isolate.

Long term effects of vaccine. I am very weak. I do not feel weak, but any physical exercise, carrying shopping, and I realise how weak I am.

Lincoln coronavirus lockdown day fifty-four

February 28, 2021

Saturday like Friday, starts off with a chill to the air, clear blue sky, sun warm.

It is becoming like August of last year, too many people out, behaving as though coronavirus does not exist. No surprise that across the country covid-19 cases beginning to rise. Lincoln is now above the national average for new coronavirus cases.

Sincil Street busy.

From butcher, chicken thighs wrapped in streaky bacon, as favour to me, a regular.

Look in 200 Degrees, curious, coffee from India, I am told it is good. Maybe try one day. Anything is better than their cheap house blend.

Two lots of prawns from fishmonger, including raw king prawns for prawn toast toastie for tea.

No customers zero waste store in Central Market as I pass by. What I am learning, people are visiting Lincoln Eco Pantry in Bailgate, a wider ranger of stock. There may though be another reason. Lincoln Eco Pantry built up a following long before they opened. They were due or at least rumoured to open at two different premises before Bailgate, but for whatever reason, did not happen. In the meantime, the stall in the market stole a march on them.

Chat with barista Angel Coffee House. He tells me Ozone was the best of the coffee they had tried. Begs the question what had they tried? He does not know. I suggest they try Cartwheel Coffee and Outpost Coffee. If I pass by again, I will suggest try espresso blend from DT Coffee Roastery. I also suggested Coffee Gems.

I raise reusable cups, they should not be accepting as a disease vector. I am told what I was told before, we fill a jug, then fill the reusable cup. Before I was also told, we trust our customers.

Whilst we are chatting, a man hands over a reusable cup to be filled, barista takes away, fills with coffee, then hands back.

I question then man. I’m ok, I have been vaccinated. Actually no, you have had the first dose, you are at risk and put others at risk.

I am now encountering ignorance of vaccines, I’ve been vaccinated, therefore I am OK. No, you have had one dose. .

A woman on a bus a couple of weeks ago. I have bene vaccinated, I am OK. Coffee Aroma had a customer walk in claiming they did not have to wear a mask, been vaccinated.

When people go to be vaccinated, they need to be given clear information, that they are still at risk, are a risk to others, must still carry on with coronavirus biosecurity.

I think try Vines early. No bread left people were queuing from nine in the morning.

Again many people around Steep Hill and Bailgate, though not as many as last weekend, but still very busy.

No farmers market, cancelled. Why, no idea. It seems they are cancelled on a whim.

Sourdough bread from Redhill fam shop. Not what I wished for, but all they have.

Lincoln Eco Pantry looks busy, I do not pop in.

Haddock and chips from Elite on the Bail. Pleaant sat in the sun.

Take a walk round to Stokes at the Lawn. As I suspected, closes at three. I arrive just after three. They offer to serve me, I say ok and decline the offer, I was checking if open.

Cappuccino from Coffee Aroma.

Am I damaging the planet with my coffee habit?

February 13, 2021

Are reusable coffee cups doing more harm than good?

Indie coffee shops are as always showing the way, ahead of the game, compostable coffee cups, reusable cups, but are we doing more harm than good?

We are in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic, takeaway coffee cups, contactless payments, necessary evils to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Best practice is that shown by Coffee Aroma. 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.

A minority of coffee shops have reusable coffee cups on sale. Why reusable cups on sale? If on sale customers will expect to be able to bring in reusable cups. When I have queried this, no one should be using reusable cups during coronavirus pandemic, I was told if someone brings a reusable cup, they fill a takeaway cup, up to the customer to then fill their own reusable cup. Somewhat self-defeating.

It cannot be emphasised enough, no one should be taking a reusable coffee cup to a coffee shop, no coffee shop should be accepting. It is to introduce an unnecessary disease vector that puts staff and customers at risk.

Compostable coffee cups are not compostable, at least not on a compost heap, they will biodegrade in an industrial biodegrader, though I have found they will compost on a well made compost heap. What do we we do with them once we have drunk our coffee, unless on our way home to drop on the compost heap, assuming we have a garden let alone a compost heap.

Reusable coffee cups simply address a symptom, not the underlying problem of grab it and go, instant gratification, pointless consumerism.

The only way to enjoy a coffee is to relax in an indie coffee shop with coffee served in glass or ceramic, which sadly not possible in the midst of coronavirus pandemic. And even when coffee shops were open, even before the first lockdown, many coffee shops were only serving in takeaway cups contactless payment to reduce the risk of cross infection.

Coffee shops get lumped together with pubs as hospitality, they should not be, they were not spreading coronavirus.

When we come out of lockdown, it should be slowly slowly, pause at each stage with a willingness to immediately impose hard lockdown, with testing in the community. We should close our city centres to traffic, pedestrianise the streets, the first to open as the weather warms up indie coffee shops and restaurants with socially distanced tables in the street. Win win for everyone, kick starts the local economy, helps local businesses, improves city centre ambience.

I would berate Scott though not for forgetting his reusable cup and using a takeaway cup. I would berate Scott for using either. If the coffee was so good he wished to brag about, why did he drink it from a disposable cup (pandemic excepted but then should not be using a reusable cup)? I would berate Scott for not relaxing in a coffee shop, the excellent coffee served in glass or ceramic. To do anything less, is to not do justice to the coffee and the person who brewed it.

Would we treat a red wine in this way, slosh into a takeaway cup and jog off down the street? I think not, not unless we are a wino. Therefore why do we treat coffee with such contempt?

We face several existential crisis, global pandemics, climate change, plastic pollution, mass species extinction. We have to address all, we cannot pick and choose.

UK later this year hosts COP26. Cumbria has given the go ahead for expansion of coal mining, Leeds airport expansion, relaxation of rules on night time flying at Leeds Bradford Airport.

Worrying about drinking a cappuccino is pissing in the wind. We would better direct our efforts at closing down drive-thru takeaway coffee outlets.

Plastic-lined takeaway cups contribute to plastic pollution.

Currently whilst in the midst of a global covid-19 pandemic, a takeaway cup a necessary evil to reduce risk of cross infection. No one should be taking a takeaway coffee cup to a coffee shop, no coffee shop should accept, it is to introduce an unnecessary disease vector which puts staff and customers at risk.

Grass-fed cows, the grass continually eaten acts a carbon sink, improves soil structure, soaks up rain water, soaks up carbon, slows flash floods, good for wildlife. We have woods, hedgerows, ponds and marshes.

Yes, we should be concerned about about our carbon footprint. A cappuccino is the least of our worries.

Drinking a cup of coffee, drive to a drive-thru coffee shop? What of flights?

Fake milks cause huge environmental damage, soy destruction of rainforest (and unless certified organic almost certainly gmo), almonds drain the California water table.

I would not have coffee beans shipped from outside the country, not when add shipping cost. On the other hand, if out of the country, I may pick up a bag of coffee and bring it back home.

But what of my arranging coffee beans to Cyprus? If not, do we deny coffee shops source of speciality coffee beans?

Beggars belief incineration being suggested as alternative to landfill, landfill we are running out of, hence a landfill tax.

No, we close the loops, we reduce waste, we do not use takeaway cups, we do not use reusable cups. In the natural world waste does not exist either in time or space, output of one process feeds into another process.

How many coffee shops place their spent coffee grounds outside in a strong paper bag to be taken away to be used on the garden?

Carbon neutral transport? Electric vehicles powered by renewable sources, or the carbon offset scam? The only way to reduce carbon in the atmosphere is not to emit carbon.

We have to look at whole life cycle cost. At best the plastic cup can be downcycled, the metal cup recycled many times, the energy recovered.

And that was the problems with the discussion, takeaway cups or reusable cups, which is the better? Neither, neither should exist, instead we should address the underlying problem of takeaway culture.

If we care about the coffee we are drinking, let us do it justice, let us show respect for the barista, the roastery, the farm and the growers.

Laura Young sums up Oatly:

I don’t want my money going to the destruction of the planet, and putting peoples lives and land at risk just so that I can have a creamy coffee in the morning!

A man flogging fake milk tells us to drink fake milk. Now who would have guessed that?

Comparison of Oatly with milk from cows was biased, but then what to expect when the source is someone flogging fake milk.

We heard of transparency. No mention of acquisition of a share of Oatly by Vulture Capitalists responsible for forest destruction or by a Chinese state owned company to facilitate access to the Chinese market.

Oatly used to be a small company that made a profit. They are now a big company that made a loss of $35 million in 2019.

The comparison was with industrial agriculture, the same industrial agriculture producing oats for Oatly, intensive agriculture.

Cows have an advantage, they are very efficient at converting to something edible what we cannot eat, converted to meat, milk and cheese, cheese produced by an age old natural method of fermentation.

Yes, cows produce methane, and yes methane 20 times more potent than CO2, but CO2 lasts decades in the atmosphere, whereas the methane produced by the cows short lived. We fill a field with cows, assuming we do not increase the stocking level, a small increase in atmospheric methane which will then remain constant, it will not increase, the grassy field will be a carbon sink.

No mention of nutritional deficiency

The only thing can be said in favour of Oatly, one of the better fake milks, nevertheless a cappuccino poured with Oatley looks and tastes disgusting.

Is that milk with your cappuccino or watered down porridge with enzymes added?

Milk needs fat for structure and flavour, essential for a cappuccino.

If do not wish for milk in a coffee, then ask for a V60 pour over.

The only fake milk maybe worth trying, and I confess I have yet to try, Rebel Kitchen, they at least have attempted to address the issue of fat.

Plant-based has become the new low fat, a means of marketing the output of global food corporations.

We should be supporting grass-fed agriculture, agroforestry, not monoculture, rows of monoculture crops which require herbicides, fertiliser, pesticide, will enable runoff, loss of soil, no improvement of soil structure.

Climate Change is a result of a mindset, that is based on monoculture, fossil fuels, chemicals, corporate control. We do not address Climate Emergency by applying the same mindset that caused the problem, global corporations trying to control what we eat and drink, destruction of local culture and diversity, is not the answer.

Excellent environmental issues being raised and discussed, but please do not greenwash on behalf of Oatly.

Adventures in Coffee a collaboration between Caffeine Magazine, Jools Walker and Filter Stories. Presented by Jools Walker and Scott Bentley.

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.


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