26 May 2022

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Important day today – yes it’s Green Gobbler day
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Important day today – yes it’s Green Gobbler day

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When you are under lockdown, you need something to look forward to!

This sounds exciting! What’s it all about? Is it something to do with Dr Who’s latest monster? Should we be worried and take cover at home?

Well, may be continue to take cover at home but none of the others. Let me tell you a story.

In the early days of the pandemic just at the beginning of the lockdown, I was doing some gardening. Now, living in the country we are one of the still many properties around that is not connected to the mains drainage system; instead we have a septic tank in the garden.

Well, I suddenly found myself walking around in what appeared to be something rather unsavoury and then I realised that the manhole cover under which the house drainage runs had lifted. Examination revealed that the contents were no longer running into the septic tank so the back pressure had lifted the lid and the contents were spilling over the top. Inspection of the septic tank showed that it was full of virtually solid content; how could this be when we had had to rebuild part of it only a year or so before?

This is where the Green Gobbler comes in. Septic tanks are supposed to process the content and in theory continue for many years without any intervention – that is until anti-bacterial cleaning materials are used in the house. Septic tanks operate by bacteria consuming the contents and of course if you kill them off with anti-bacterial soaps and disinfectants, you will get the same problem as we did, and an expensive bill to have the tank emptied.

So Green Gobbler is a tablet which we put down the loo once a month to ensure that if the bacterial operation has stopped, it gets kick started again, a biological re-boot. And we do this on the first of the month, namely today.

But that is not the only thing of significance today, is it? Today sees a fairly major relaxation of the lockdown rules in England and these come amid all sorts of claims both ways, some complaining they are not happening fast enough but many more saying they are coming too soon, including some of the government advisers.

We have been contemplating this day for weeks and it has always been clear that the decision when to start relaxing was going to be a very difficult one to take, trying to weigh the safety of the population against the recovery of the economy. When the government first talked about when they would relax the rules, they made it clear that they would want the R value down to about .5 or even less. At the moment they admit it is between .7 and .9, more or less accepting it is .9. Accordingly raising the restrictions now appears to be a premature act flying in the face of their own policy. Although the official death toll has reduced, the rate of new cases is still high so somewhere the disease continues to spread.

What are we to do? Everyone now has to make his or her mind up as to whether to go back into society with a free-for-all based on social distancing which is to a considerable extent being ignored or whether to remain in isolation so far as practicable and going out only when necessary and then with great care. That is currently still possible; where it will become more difficult is when the bars, pubs and restaurants re-open. Will the temptation to go out just be too much to resist? I think that going to a pub garden which is suitably organised for social distancing could be a runner but going inside, based on current advice, will be a very different prospect.

It is certainly looking like beer gardens will be permitted to operate next month but will they survive commercially? It might look easy enough from a customer’s point of view but the pub owner will have a lot to think about. Even simple things like getting paid need to be considered – will they take cash or card only? Could beer glasses carry the virus? There will need to be extra staffing to ensure tables are cleaned between each use and who is to say whether a load of guests will be part of a group living together? And a doorman to control entry? Could we be queuing up in the car park to get in? Perhaps an appointment system will be introduced.

So it could be that our best friend during the summer to enable us to start to move back to normal will be the weather – so long as it remains good. If it turns, then we shall have to think again. By the same token, that good weather could also be our enemy, prompting the crowds to rush to the beaches thereby increasing the risk of spread of the disease.

One thing is certain, great care will continue to be needed. It is the responsibility of every individual and family to ensure the optimum safety for themselves – it is your life and the lives of those whom you love which are at stake. Your own discipline will largely determine if you remain safe or not.

Stay safe!

Adrian Leopard 01-06-20

Photo Pille Riin Priske

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Company Data

Adrian Leopard & Company is the trading name of Alderney Offshore Ltd, a company registered in Alderney, Channel Islands number 1220.

Address P O Box 1027, Alderney GY9 3AS

Registered Office Seldomin, Longis Road, Alderney GY9 3YB.

Adrian Leopard & Co is represented in the UK by 3CL (UK) Ltd trading as Adrian Leopard Associates.

Telephone enquiries may be made on 08449-4-08449 or 01684-230360.

E Mail [email protected]

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