So, suppose you lived in Oswestry and set off for a walk whilst staying alert. And then the walk took you over the Welsh border and you thus had to go home. But on the way home, you passed back into England and so could start staying alert again. And then you discovered that none of this kicked in until Wednesday. So you just sit down in the middle of the road and wait. And lord only knows what is supposed to happen in Berwick-on-Tweed.
One of the few things that was clear in the Prime Minister’s garbled address to the nation last night was that the situation for most of us does not change. Where you can work from home the government is asking that you do so. And besides, apart from our Jackie who could walk, the discouragement from using public transport would prevent most people from getting to their office anyway.
And so we enter the 9th week of WFH under slightly less lockdown (two walks – yay!) but with no clear picture of when the situation might change. So we are in this for the long haul, so probably worth reminding ourselves of the various sources of support and guidance available.
Three steps to heaven
Things aren’t a whole lot clearer with the publication of the more detailed guidance this afternoon. It does propose an Eddie Cochrane style three step programme towards normality and a few other gems such as the following.
- It establishes a new metric for the level of detail to which one has consumed a document. So now, as well as “I have skim read it”; and “I have flicked through it” you can add “I have read enough to establish that Dim Dom Raab hasn’t read it at all”.
- There is more talk of bubbles but we are not there yet.
- Golf is back from Wednesday with one other from outside your household, so long as you promise to carve the ball in opposite directions.
- Step 2 would allow sport behind closed doors and may be moved to on 1st June. So football could be back, so long as Brighton says it can.
- We should wear a mask to the supermarket now apparently.
But a lot of it remains, understandably, vague and foretells of further guidance to come on things such as organising a social distanced office (feedback on the first draft was not positive). And it announces the delicious prospect of requiring “reactive measures to be implemented reactively”.
Today sees the third round of talks between UK and EU on our future trading relationship. The agenda looks not dissimilar to those vaguely suspect performance metrics LIMOSS puts out – only far less positive. No one I have spoken to who was part of the first two rounds of talks characterises it as going well.
The Swiss insurer Helvetia has agreed to meet 50% of the losses of its domestic restaurant industry whilst maintaining its BI policies include a pandemic exclusion. This comes on the back of the agreement in Bavaria where insurers agreed to pay half of the losses above the 70% being met by the state for the hospitality industry. It will be interesting to see how this is received. In the main public reaction to the Bavarian compromise has been more “why aren’t you paying the other half?” than any good PR for the industry.
Meanwhile International Associations of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) has warned against attempts to retrospectively extend cover to Covid-19 claims. It has also thrown its hat into the ring to help co-ordinate a public/private approach to responding to future pandemics. What with OECD, European Commission and various national governments already jockeying for position on this, it is a rind with more millinery than the Queen’s wardrobe.
Online quizzing is becoming quite the thing under lockdown. And the challenge to make those quizzes impenetrably difficult seems to be being vigorously pursued. Which is no fun. So to redress this balance, we have uncovered a question that is very much easier to answer. I think we all know why Russian doctors may be mysteriously falling out of windows. In each instance their last consultation was with a patient worried that they might have contracted Covid-19 on their recent holiday in Salisbury.
Five weeks until Super Rugby Aotearoa…