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With the end to lockdown picking up pace I was pleased to learn that our garden centres are deemed more necessary than many other retail outlets and as such have finally been allowed to open properly. With food shortages and long queues at food outlets earlier this year persuading so many people to grow their own food instead, it struck me as rather short-sighted that this type of facility wasn't allowed to remain open (with the correct safeguarding in place, of course!) so people could buy essentials such as compost, seeds and plug plants; feel fairly confident that they'd at least be able to feed their families, and give those who were furloughed something useful and rewarding to do. I realise people were able to buy online but as in other areas, there were supply chain issues which in many cases don't appear to have been resolved.
I support my local garden centre which is run by a charity to provide employment for those suffering from mental ill-health and like many garden centres it provides lightweight plastic & cloth wheelchairs for customers who don't normally use them but who'd struggle to get around such a place without one. Sadly these aren't yet available as the staff aren't sure how to sanitise them to prevent the potential spread of Coronavirus (if you have any tips on how best to clean things like this, I'll happily pass them on). They're also worried about safety regarding the cafe and toilets and these will remain shut for the foreseeable future.
Are we going to see further and faster demise in public toilet provision all over, I wonder?
All this led me to ponder on some of the more difficult cleaning situations, and whether we should even be thinking about opening some facilities until we can be sure that proper cleaning and sanitising regimes are in place and that there is a continuous supply of disposables, chemicals, equipment and properly trained manpower to keep them safe. Take gyms and other sporting centres for example: I can't think of a better breeding ground for germs, with their high-use equipment and users breathing heavily while getting hot and sweaty! My daughter's a climber and has always complained about how filthy her hands become on the man-made rocks and crevices when she uses indoor centres. These, she claims, are impossible to clean properly. Your thoughts on this particular dilemma would be helpful too...
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28th May 2020