A Statement from Table Art: Lockdown Week 6
MD Gary Martin | Dated May 12th 2020:
Welcome to the Table Art’s Lockdown Latest on May 12th. When I wrote the first of these blogs weeks ago, I hadn’t planned to comment each week on the lockdown latest. It seems though that there are quite a few followers reading the weekly blog so here I am again.
Sunday night’s announcement by Boris has left us all just a little bit confused. We can have a cleaner come into our house but not our adult child come to visit. We can go and visit our parents but we have to choose which one we talk to. Outside with social distancing of course. I can speak to my mum who can then go indoors and sit with my dad. Or I can speak to my dad followed by my mum ten minutes later. But not at the same time. I can go for a walk and see 20 strangers (all 2 metres apart) but I am only allowed to know one of them! It all seems very random and quite bizarre.
However, I believe it is just a way to gradually integrate us back into some sort of normality. Everyone will have their own take on the new guidelines. If the government had said everyone must still stay home, then there is no confusion but also no attempt to move forward. If they had said lockdown is over, you may now mix with all your family and friends, then we could end up with a sudden second spike overwhelming the NHS. My thoughts are that this way, some people will mix more than others and we will get a gradual idea of what will happen when we all get back together.
At this stage, we simply have no idea how many of us have already had Coronavirus. It could be that a very high percentage of us had the disease even before the lockdown. And, of course, during it. As many of us remain symptomless and tests have been quite limited, we will not know these figures unless an effective antibody test becomes very widely available.
I do know, however, that the testing system is excellent. Certainly, in this area at least. A vulnerable relative, developed mild symptoms on Sunday. She called 111 and within 2 minutes of putting the phone down a nurse called straight back. She was then given a code to go online to book a test. The list of available options was extensive. A range of test centres and a choice of any time to attend on that same day. She went along for the test. There was only one other car there. It was all very quick and efficient and within a few minutes, she was on her way home. Luckily in less than 48 hours,the test came back as negative.
If the testing is extended to everyone with symptoms then I can see that this will bring normality back a lot quicker. And apparently the vaccine is looking good to be available sooner rather than later.
Furlough Latest Announcement
As I write this lockdown latest on May 12th, the government have announced that it has extended furlough until the end of October at 80%. This could help a lot of us in the event industry get through this difficult time. From August to October employees may be able to return to work on a part-time basis and remain on furlough. Maybe this way we will be able to keep on staff that we need for when events return in full. This has to be clarified by the government yet as we may have to pay towards the cost.
This, I think, is all very encouraging. Whilst still, of course, wanting to keep us and our family and friends safe, we know that economic issues can also seriously affect health. So here’s hoping that all the announcements this week are showing a glimmer or hope for the months ahead.
Thanks for reading my Lockdown Latest on May 12th. I don’t know about you but I am missing the industry that I have been in my whole life!