Monday, 3 August 2020

July: The Great Leap Forward

July 4th was the date that the hospitality business had been waiting for. Just as on the 4th of July Americans celebrate freedom from the British Government, on this day English citizens celebrated a similar release, as lockdown rules were further eased, apart from in the city of Leicester, where a resurgence in cases to 140 per 100,000 led to a tightening of the lockdown.
Cornwall in early July had one of the country's lowest number of Coronavirus cases, just 0.7 in 100,000, and Falmouth was soon buzzing with an influx of visitors,  restaurants and pubs doing a roaring trade,  and it was particularly good to see the old Chain Locker in action again.
Last week we had our first visitors of the year from outside Cornwall, Prof. Richard Williams, his wife Jane and son Tim, who were on a short break from their home in Edinburgh, where Richard is Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University. Richard was the subject of one of my MEI Interviews (MEI Blog 17 August 2015), when he was then a Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of Birmingham UK.
Social distancing has gone by the board in many cases, and while walking through the busy Falmouth main street, I said "don't mind me!" to a guy who passed inches away from me, and who replied that he had come down here to get away from all that crap!
A busy Falmouth town
And on that subject, there have been many reports of masses of waste, including human waste, being left on Cornwall's beaches, and on Perranporth beach a 14 year old boy who asked a family to take their litter away was hit over the head with a whisky bottle, and needed 11 stitches to the wound. Unbelievable behaviour!
Swanpool beach, Falmouth, July 30th
At the end of the month infection rates in Cornwall had risen to 4 in 100,000, only just below that of 5 for England as a whole, and tightened restrictions were imposed in the north of England due to a resurgence in cases. Let's hope that the great leap forward was not a leap too soon. 
Cartonn: Peter Schrank, The Times 6th July


  1. Good to read your" man on the spot detail" on the "mixed bag of news" with a ray of hope for normalcy to come back soon.
    While I read papers and watch T.V.,I get more confused. I hope all the intellectuals of all disciplines through their hats into the ring and come up with good technical support to Govt agencies-- staring from resource mobilisation/distribution, data analytics etc etc to usher in a New Era so their presence and need is felt more by Society in a visible manner.. May be I am wrong but somehow I do not feel their presence on Society.
    Keep giving us positive news, Barry.

  2. Barry, Whereas many people cannot hold themselves back from getting out and about in the precious Northern Hemisphere summer after some four months of lockdown, the virus is still out there and among us waiting to infect us. The cartoon that you posted is quite apt: The Grim Reaper awaits with glee to remove those who have thrown caution to the wind. Until the vaccine(s) complete their Phase III trials, which several started in late July, and will end in September; and until we have the approved vaccines distributed and dosed, we still have to use public spaces with great caution. The good news is that the leading four vaccine candidates are being bulk-manufactured in parallel to the Phase III trials so that if one of the candidates is successful we straight away have some supply to distribute. Put all together the four leading groups and associated manufacturing partners will have production capacity of 3.7 billion doses in 2021. But it will take months to get the vaccinations done. So until then, survival implies caution. Best regards, Norm

    1. That's assuming that the majority of people will agree to be vaccinated. There is unfortunately much negative campaigning on social media, mainly from "celebrities" who should know better.


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