Posts Tagged ‘covid-19’

Lincoln coronavirus lockdown day twenty-eight

February 1, 2021

First day of February, a new month, lockdown day twenty-eight.

The bus I would usually catch no longer running, a revised timetable for essential workers only, buses running in the morning and afternoon, but not midday.

When I did catch the bus that is no longer running there was only ever two passengers, maybe once three passengers.

I catch a different bus, a double decker bus, the service cancelled a small bus, only two passengers, the service cancelled a small bus.

More people about than previous weeks early in the week.

A rump steak off the butcher. I wish I had had the sirloin steak previous week.

Central Market deserted. Zero waste stall shuts early at one, fishmonger only open Friday and Saturday.

River Witham flowing fast, though not as fast or as high as last Friday

To Wilkinsons, a griddle pan. I would prefer cast iron, but only aluminum. I need for the steak.

I also want a long skewer but they do not have. Something I have never seen before.

I require for a dish from Friday Night Feast, Jamie Oliver Friday of last week Channel 4 end of South End Pier.

A simple dish, skewer chicken wrapped in bacon, sits over a pan of tomatoes and par-boiled potatoes sitting in the oven. But needs a long skewer. Something I have never seen, but then I do not go looking. I did not think I had a suitable pan, but found one in the cupboard.

Cappuccino off Coffee Aroma.

By the River Witham warm in the sun. In the High Street pleasant, outside Coffee Aroma freezing cold. Hard frost last night, barely above zero.

I take my coffee by The Stonebow in the sun.

I walk through The Stonebow. I see a woman and small child waiting for the Walk and Ride. I tell her I doubt that it is running as revised timetable. She thanks me, tells me she has been waiting a long time, at least half an hour. The Walk and Ride runs every twenty minutes. Never more than five minutes late, usually on time. She say she will get a taxi. I say not safe, safer to walk. She takes my advice and walks.

I notice a sharp edge on griddle pan. I take it back.

Store is overcrowded, too many people, a long queue zig zag at checkouts, complete lack of distancing. Store and especially the queue coronavirus death trap.

I speak with a member of staff, tell them what I am doing, hand them damaged griddle pan and walk out with replaced. I had already spoken with staff member as I walked in and they had advised me what to do.

To M&S Food Hall. I do not need to visit, but need a bag for the griddle pan. Wilkinsons tried to charge 70p for a bag.

I would question why is Wilkinsons open when Lakeland closed? It is not essential. I did not have to have a griddle pan, useful yes, essential no.

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.

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.

Lincoln coronavirus tier 3 day twenty-three

December 24, 2020

Christmas Eve, very little traffic into the city, bus station deserted, many small shops closed.

River Witham running high, fast and muddy. Heavy rain last night, waterlogged ground, washes into the river.

Not too many people around, excellent.

Pepperdine’s closed, fishmonger closed, fruit and veg stall closed, Redhill farm shop closed, Christmas dinner screwed. But, luckily Curtis open, chicken, pork joint, cakes.

Coffee shop never found open in the summer, this afternoon with find open.

Coffee shops needs far better coffee, a decent coffee machine. Recommended
La Marzocco Linea Mini
, possibly the cheapest decent machine, will then need a decent grinder, a semi-professional domestic machine try Niiche Zero. And decent coffee, not LavAzza.

Cold.

Look in Vine’s Bakery on my way down Steep Hill, only a few loaves left. At least I warm up.

Takeaway coffee from Coffee Aroma. Very cold waiting outside.

M&S again crowded, but not as bad as Tuesday. Back to usual piss-poor service, only one till manned. Onr young lady shows initiative, without being asked, mans a till

Catch a bus. Is it that cold, driver dresses as an Eskimo. She opens up, not quite Marylin Monroe.

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.

Athens coronavirus lockdown day five

November 11, 2020

Few people around, very little open, cold with a cold north east wind.

Walk a little way into the pine woodland on the lower slopes of Hill of the Muses. Too windy to climb to the top.

One of my favourite walks in Athens, follow the footpath that runs along the side of the Koine Valley, then back the other side. Once an ancient route from Athens to the sea.

Athens can be teeming with people, always peace and quiet along the Kolne Valley, not a soul to be seen. Not today, more people than I am seeing in usually busy parts of Athens. I can only assume, in lockdown, taking a walk for exercise.

Usually I encounter wild tortoises, sadly not today.

A cappuccino from The Underdog.

I am always the only one in The Underdog, but a steady stream of customers, someone will arrive as I am taking my coffee.

No one around.

From Monastiraki head to Athens Central Market.

Pass by Dope,  closed.

Dope is a strange one,  they roast and serve Robusta.

Dope is covered over space between two buildings, hence the graffiti on the bare walls.

But if passing by Dope, may as well head to Mokka, always excellent coffee, though neither are currently open during  lockdown.

Nuts, dried fruit, chocolate and yoghurt coated nuts from stalls outside Athens Central Market.

Spoilt for choice, not only between the different stalls, but also between different grades or different origins.

Quality is vastly superior to anything found in England.

Head to Duo Goulies & Duo Mpoukies before they close.

Nikos on his own, Tanya on furlough. Long hours 7-30 in the morning until 5-30 then an hour to clean machines.

Head to feyrouz Lebanese street food that I stumbled upon previous day.

Idea had been to order for later to be delivered.

Not possible, have to use an app for Wolt.

I try later give up, too much hassle, to much personal data requested, same model as Deliveroo, exploitation, serfs working for an app.

As I walk back through empty streets Ermou and Plaka deserted.

I cannot see the few remaining businesses open remaining open beyond the end of the week, no one around.

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.

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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