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26 May 2022

Opinion from Adrian Leopard & Co

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How new London looks with Covid-19

Yes, I have been to London, but on this occasion not to see the Queen but in fact to attend a four day court case in the High Court. This trip has been illuminating, frighteningly so given the different ways in which the Covid-19 is having an effect.

I start with the hotel, quite a nice 4 star hotel on the bank of the Thames just in the city. I am not sure how many guests they had this week but we concluded that there were probably more staff than guests overall! This hotel was taking Covid-19 very seriously indeed – all the proper social-distancing precautions, in fact almost over the top. But although they did everything properly and their best, I am sure, to make our stay comfortable, if we wanted our room cleaned they would need a four hour window to do this. We didn’t like to ask!

Imagine staying in a hotel room for four nights without any cleaning, without automatic new linen and towels, any supplies like tea bags or loo rolls only if you asked for them and then they would just be left on the floor outside the room. Suddenly you realise just how looking after a hotel bedroom is taken for granted and how quickly you realise that when it does not happen.

The restaurants in the hotel were all closed; limited meals could be taken in the bar, masks and visors worn by hotel staff and the minimum of contact possible and all of this with barely anyone there. Apparently this hotel is normally packed at lunch time in the week but at the moment, it is empty; city workers are just not in the city!

Going out into the streets either as a pedestrian or a driver – again hardly anyone around and normally packed streets pleasantly quiet, next best to deserted.

But probably the biggest impact was made by seeing how the pubs were working. There are more large pubs in London than one might realise so very easy for them to set their furniture out in accordance with the regulations and they were generally followed closely. All the complaints about how reducing the number of tables would reduce the number of customers has actually been of little significance because even at the lower capacities, nowhere was full.

Where it all changed was in the case of one pub across the road where crowds of young people were out in the street drinking and there was no hint of social-distancing there. Perhaps this is where the virus is getting the chance to spread and what this shows clearly is that the pubs are behaving responsibly but the customers, given the chance, are not.

Out of four restaurants we attended, two were following the regulations with masks and the other two were not, not in fact observing any of the regulations at all. Again, they were far from full – there just are very few people around.

The Law Courts were eerily quiet – we came to the conclusion that there were no other cases going on at all apart from one brief hearing in another court. Security was there, masks compulsory but it was more like a ghost town. In our court room, there were four attendees for each side, a judge and an usher so ten in total. We were all seated so far apart that hearing other people talk was itself a challenge at times.

There are a few what we concluded were tourists around but nothing like London’s normal.

And then driving home, the roads suddenly are very busy again but on the motorways the idiots and dangerous drivers are out in force – passing on the inside, weaving in and out of motorway lanes and generally putting the public at risk. As we know when there is an accident in these circumstances, it is usually the innocent who suffer and get killed.

All this is now accompanied by new restrictions and cessation of relaxation of lockdown rules in England. In addition new names are being added to the quarantine list. This is not before time and if you look at the Johns Hopkins chart today and compare it with the one a week ago you will be shocked to see how the pandemic worldwide is gaining pace. Are we about to witness a repetition of the Spanish flu of 100 years ago when the second wave was infinitely more serious than the first. Mind you, some of these countries are only now gaining momentum in their first wave.

This problem is going to be with us for a long time yet so do not be surprised at further restrictions.

Adrian Leopard 31-07-20

Photo Jurica Koletic

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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.

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